Brain-Implanted Chip Uses Thought to Operate Devices

Brain-Implanted Chip Uses Thought to Operate Devices

With a tiny, electronic chip implanted in the motor cortex of his brain, a 25-year-old man paralyzed from the neck down for five years has learned to use his thoughts to operate a computer, turn on a TV set, open e-mail, play a video game and manipulate a robotic arm — the first successful steps toward using the mind to directly control machines.

Two subsequent patients with the implanted brain chips have advanced their brain-computer interface skills even further, although all movements are still rudimentary. One, a Massachusetts quadriplegic, unable to speak as a result of a stroke that destroyed her brain stem, uses her thoughts to type messages using specialized software.

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