Photo of a current neural implant, that uses wires to transmit information and receive power, by Sergey Stavisky
Stanford researchers have been working for years to advance a technology that could one day help people with paralysis regain use of their limbs, and enable amputees to use their thoughts to control prostheses and interact with computers.
The team has been focusing on improving a brain-computer interface, a device implanted beneath the skull on the surface of a patient’s brain. This implant connects the human nervous system to an electronic device that might, for instance, help restore some motor control to a person with a spinal cord injury, or someone with a neurological condition like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also called Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The current generation of these devices record enormous amounts of neural activity, then transmit these brain signals through wires to a computer. But when researchers have tried to create wireless brain-computer interfaces to do this, it took so much power to transmit the data that the devices would generate too much heat to be safe for the patient.
The way to a wireless device
Now, a team led by electrical engineers and neuroscientists Krishna Shenoy, PhD, and Boris Murmann, PhD, and neurosurgeon and neuroscientist Jaimie Henderson, MD, have shown how it would be possible to create a wireless device, capable of gathering and transmitting accurate neural signals, but using a tenth of the power required by current wire-enabled systems. These wireless devices would look more natural than the wired models and give patients freer range of motion.
The team’s neuroscientists identified the specific neural signals needed to control a prosthetic device, such as a robotic arm or a computer cursor. The team’s electrical engineers then designed the circuitry that would enable a future, wireless brain-computer interface to process and transmit these these carefully identified and isolated signals, using less power and thus making it safe to implant the device on the surface of the brain.
Testing the idea
As the subjects performed movement tasks, such as positioning a cursor on a computer screen, the researchers took measurements. The findings validated their hypothesis that a wireless interface could accurately control an individual’s motion by recording a subset of action-specific brain signals, rather than acting like the wired device and collecting brain signals in bulk.
The next step will be to build an implant based on this new approach and proceed through a series of tests toward the ultimate goal.
The Latest Updates from Bing News & Google News
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- KHIDI supports six health industry startups in response to the post-COVID eraon February 23, 2021 at 9:20 pm
In preparation for the post-COVID era, KHIDI has started supporting six promising health industry startups in Korea, and the company is preparing to enter the global market as a Korean company as well ...
- Miami Beach Police Pursuit Of Stolen Car Ends With 15-Year-Old In Custodyon February 22, 2021 at 10:14 pm
CBS4's Ted Scouten spoke with Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber about the incident. Read more: Dentist Helps Koala Get Much-Needed ProstheticCBS4 News correspondent Ian Lee shares Triumph's story. 14 ...
- WOW! 7th Grader creates Braille Rubik’s Cubeon February 22, 2021 at 4:12 pm
A Missouri middle schooler who loves to solve the Rubik’s cube wanted to make the puzzle-game more inclusive. Zane Lemunyon used a 3-D printer to create a Braille Rubik’s Cube for the ...
- MUST SEE: Koala receives prosthetic foot thanks to dentiston February 22, 2021 at 4:02 pm
A koala in eastern Australia has received the world’s first prosthetic foot especially designed for the marsupial. Triumph, a male koala, was born without a right foot. He was rescued in ...
- When Innovation Leaps: 3D Printing Of Fully Functional Electronicson February 18, 2021 at 7:23 pm
D Printing Of Fully Functional Electronics By Simon Fried, President, Nano Dimension USA Inc. - Long forgotten are the novelty and hobbyist roots of 3D printing. Today, sophisticated printers are ...
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Go deeper with Bing News on:
Thought controlled electronic prostheses
- Cognitive Biotechnology: opportunities and considerations for the NATO Allianceon February 26, 2021 at 3:26 pm
What is published in NATO Review does not necessarily represent the official position or policy of member governments, or of NATO. Advances in biophysical, biochemical and behavioural technologies are ...
- The Gambler, Maxwell’s New Demonon February 26, 2021 at 8:44 am
In a new version of Maxwell’s demon, the tiny being plays the role of a gambler who knows when to quit. According to the second law of thermodynamics, heat will always move from hot to cold until it ...
- The NiSi 15mm f/4 Sunstar is a ‘Promising Start’ for the Companyon February 25, 2021 at 11:15 am
The NiSi 15mm f/4 lens was announced in early January and photographer Ted Forbes got his hands on one to see how the company’s first lens performed. In short, it’s a promising start for the company ...
- 'Mind-written' couplets add technology to greetingson February 21, 2021 at 10:30 pm
"The mind-written couplets were well-received by students as graduation gifts," Xu said. Luo Ruixin, a student on the team, says BCI is integrated into her daily life. She sent special couplets to her ...
- CEO’s of Electronic Arts, FansUnite, ESE Entertainment, and NetEase Discuss Global Boom In E-Sports, Gaming and Digital Entertainmenton February 18, 2021 at 6:41 am
Wall Street Reporter, the trusted name in financial news since 1843, has published reports on the latest comments and insights from leaders at: FansUnite Electronic Arts ESE Entertainment and NetEase ...