[lit-ideas] Paralyzed man moves computer cursor through thought

  • From: JimKandJulieB@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2006 10:31:23 EDT

This is amazing  technology! 
Julie Krueger

Paralyzed man moves computer cursor through thought 
By Patricia ReaneyWed Jul 12, 1:46 PM ET  

A Paralyzed man using a new brain sensor has been able to move a computer  
cursor, open e-mail and control a robotic device simply by thinking about doing 
it, a team of scientists said on Wednesday. 
They believe the BrainGate sensor, which involves implanting electrodes in  
the brain, could offer new hope to people Paralyzed by injuries or  illnesses. 
"This is the first step in an ongoing clinical trial of a device that is  
encouraging for its potential to help people with paralysis," Dr Leigh 
of Massachusetts General Hospital, said in an interview. 
The 25-year-old man who suffered paralysis of all four limbs three years  
earlier completed tasks such moving a cursor on a screen and controlling a  
robotic arm. 
He is the first of four patients with spinal cord injuries, muscular  
dystrophy, stroke or motor neurone disease testing the brain-to-movement system 
developed by Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems Inc (OTC BB:CYKN.OB - news)  
"This is the dawn of major neurotechnology where the ability to take signals  
out of the brain has taken a big step forward. We have the ability to put  
signals into the brain but getting signals out is a real challenge. I think 
 represents a landmark event," said Professor John Donoghue of Brown 
University  in Rhode Island and the chief scientific officer of Cyberkinetics. 
The scientists implanted a tiny silicon chip with 100 electrodes into an area 
 of the brain responsible for movement. The activity of the cells was 
recorded  and sent to a computer which translated the commands and enabled the 
patient to  move and control the external device. 
"This part of the brain, the motor cortex, which usually sends its signals  
down the spinal cord and out to the limbs to control movement, can still be 
used  by this participant to control an external device, even after years had 
gone by  since his spinal cord injury," added Hochberg, a co-author of the 
published in the journal Nature. 
Although it is not the first time brain activity has been used to control a  
cursor, Stephen Scott of Queen's University in Ontario, Canada said it 
advances  the technology. 
"This research suggests that implanted prosthetics are a viable approach for  
assisting severely impaired individuals to communicate and interact with the  
environment," he said in a commentary in the journal. 
In a separate study, researchers from Stanford University Schools of Medicine 
 and Engineering described a faster way to process signals from the brain to  
control a computer or prosthetic device. 
"Our research is starting to show that, from a performance perspective, this  
type of prosthetic system is clinically viable," Stephen Ryu, an assistant  
professor of neurosurgery at Stanford, said in a statement.  

Copyright © 2006 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.  Republication or 
redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited  without the prior 
written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for  any errors or 
in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance  thereon. 
Copyright © 2006  Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.
_Questions or Comments_ 
_Privacy Policy_ 
ews)  -_Terms of Service_ 
erms/)  - _Copyright/IP Policy_ 
info/copyright/copyright.html)  - _Ad  Feedback_ (javascript:ADFlaunch())  

Other related posts: