April 06, 2021

First-Ever: Human Brain Connects to Computer Wirelessly

What seems like the stuff of science fiction and fantasy is now becoming a reality: scientists have created a functional wireless link between a human brain and a computer.

The incredible feat – which uses a miniature transmitter that connects to a person’s motor cortex, a part of the brain responsible for movement – was achieved by researchers at Brown University, a private research institution in Rhode Island, USA.

The system – titled “BrainGate” technology – was tested on trial participants who suffered from paralysis: two men, respectively aged 35 and 63, who both have spinal cord injuries.

Both men were able to type, along with the ability to point-and-click, with amazing accuracy for up to 24 hours from within their own living spaces, despite the restrictions present with testing among the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Leigh Hochberg, engineer and the lead researcher on the project, said: “With this system, we’re able to look at brain activity, at home, over long periods in a way that was nearly impossible before.”

He added: “This will help us to design decoding algorithms that provide for the seamless, intuitive, reliable restoration of communication and mobility for people with paralysis.”

The technology shows huge promise in medicine, specifically neural interfacing, allowing electronic information to flow effortlessly between the human brain and computers without any cables, and presenting mobility for those crippled by paralysis.