Brown University has developed a computer system that allows a paralyzed person to use thoughts to become actions. A cable is plugged into electrodes in Matthew Nagle’s head. This allows him to image movements which then occur. He has moved a computer cursor, opened email and turned on a television. This was done with imagination and a computer program.
The results have been reported in an issue of the journal Nature. Image the significance of this. Many people are paralyzed and unable to function on a daily basis. So many spinal cord injuries exist. Christopher Reeve made this his life’s work after he suffered a spinal cord injury.
This new technology holds out hope for many. At this point, the patient is in a cart loaded with electronics. A cable plugs into the skull for the final connection to the patient. Brown University is hoping to create a wireless implant device. The current implant sense brainwave patterns when the patient thinks simple commands. Up and down are in the loop currently.
The scientific community has been waiting years for this brain-wave technology. They and we look forward to future developments. Improvements will surely come and provide some relief to the patients who quietly wait.