You would think someone who is paralyzed and is unable to move or speak would have a hard time communicating to others. In the past, this might have been true, but thanks to the efforts of researchers they have managed to help a man with paralysis turn his thoughts into words with a brain implant.

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This is made possible with an experimental brain implant that can decode what the man’s brain is thinking and translates that into words. How it works is that it tries to read the signal from the man’s brain that used to control his vocal tract. However, right now it is still very limited where the vocabulary is limited to just 50 words and his communication speed is at 15 words per minute.

Currently normal speech is about 120-150 words per minute, so this is quite behind. Obviously this means that he won’t be speaking as fast as he normally would have, but it is still remarkable and could mean wonders for his quality of life as he would be better at communicating his needs.

It could also be more efficient than current systems which either rely on head or eye movements to spell out words, or use brain signals to control a computer cursor.

Filed in Medical. Read more about and . Source: npr.org

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