US researchers over at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have laid claim that patients who had a temporary surgical implant, are able to make use of regions in the brain which control speech to “talk” to a computer. This unique implant enables patients to move a cursor around the computer screen through the power of thought, although making a particular sound will work as well if that’s your cup of tea. According to researcher Eric C. Leuthardt, “There are many directions we could take this, including development of technology to restore communication for patients who have lost speech due to brain injury or damage to their vocal cords or airway.” So far, temporary implants also known as brain-computer interfaces have been programmed to detect activity in the brain’s motor networks which control muscle movements, but it also has the potential to restore one’s ability to work with a computer. First we have the Tobii PCEye controller, and now this? Things are starting to look up for the less abled – now if only such technologies are affordable enough for the masses.
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