Thursday, April 22, 2004

The Real Cyborg: Mechanical Brain Interface

Cyberkinetics Inc. Braingate System

April 20, 2004. The FDA has approved a clinical trial of a brain-computer interface built by a new company, Cyberkinetics, Inc. A computer chip about the size of a baby aspirin, with 100 tiny electrode sensors is surgically attached to neurons in the primary motor cortex. The sensor will be connected by a small wire to a small pedestal mounted on the skull, which in turn will be connected by a cable to several computers.

Basically, the test subjects, five volunteer quadriplegic patients will attempt to control a computer cursor by thinking about it.

"The ultimate goal of the BrainGate development program is to develop a safe, effective and unobtrusive neural interface which will allow quadriplegic people to control computers and computer controlled devices using their thoughts. The pilot study that we have started today is a first important step toward that objective," said Tim Surgenor, President and CEO of Cyberkinetics. "The BrainGate neural interface is a groundbreaking effort to develop an implantable system which can be routinely used to provide an important advance in the level of independence for quadriplegics."


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