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May 04, 2007

Brain computer interfaces and brain implants



Following up on my article about cheap brainwave sensors I will look at more advanced brain computer interfaces and brain scanning technology.


A chip connected to live rat brain tissue

Ted Berger, USC scientist, has demonstrated a computer chip able to converse with live cells. It is a step towards an implantable machine that fluently speaks the language of the brain—a machine that could restore memories in people with brain damage or help them make new ones.

Within four years, the team aims to wire a chip beneath the skulls of monkeys, whose brains are even closer to humans. Berger predicts that human trials of a prosthetic device that can actually replace impaired memory cells are less than 15 years away.

Wikipedia covers all of the other methods for Brain computer interfaces

Brain implants are reviewed here

Neuroprosthetics are covered here

Functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) imaging has been used as game controller for Pong

IBM has developed MRI with 60,000 times better resolution

The BrainGate™ Neural Interface System is currently the subject of a pilot clinical trial to allow handicapped people to control robot arms and computers

Nanowires have been connected to neurons, which could allow far more connections for a next generation BrainGate

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