Thoughts Become Words With Brain Implant
Eight years ago, an automobile accident left Eric Ramsey conscious but paralyzed; he is unable to communicate except through eye movements. Neuroscientists hope that by tracking the pulses of just forty-one of Ramsey's neurons he might learn to communicate verbally - by thought alone.
(Electrodes planted in that part of the brain that controls speech)
Neurologists implanted a wireless electrode just six millimeters below the surface of his brain. The electrode monitors the pulses sent out by the neurons surrounding it.
In a series of experiments, Ramsey has imagined saying three vowel sounds - "oh", "ee" and "oo". Scientists believe that they can correctly identify the sound that Ramsey is imagining about eighty percent of the time.
Before the end of the year, a computer will analyze and translate his brain impulses into sounds that he can hear immediately, in real time. This feedback should allow him to improve his ability to imagine particular sounds.
The ultimate aim of the experiment is to allow Ramsey to hold conversations, a goal which scientists admit is still far off in the future. But progress is being made.
This does not seem like a far-out idea to me, but that's because I read Oath of Fealty, a 1981 novel by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. In the novel, people with a great deal of money could invest in a communications implant that would allow them to think the words and thereby communicate with a distant computer who could do their bidding, or reply with a mind full of data.
"I used my implant to tell MILLIE what we wanted and she took care of it," Art said.
"I see," Sir George's eyes focused on nothing for a moment.
(Read more about the communications implant)
Via Brain implant turn thoughts to words. Thanks to an anonymous reader for the tip on the science story. Also, Oath of Fealty will be released in paperback in December; perfect timing! And don't worry, it's still futuristic (and a great read).
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/15/2007)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )
Related News Stories -
Will The FDA Approve This Antiaging Drug?
'So what we're looking for now is... an anti-agathic, an anti-death drug.' - James Blish, 1951.
EVE Artificial Womb For Lambs (For Now)
'In the crimson darkness, stewing warm on their cushion of peritoneum and gorged with blood-surrogate and hormones...' - Aldous Huxley, 1932.
Bees Royal Jelly Helps Wounds Heal Faster
'An alien drug... used by an insect race.' - Clifford Simak, 1961.
3D Printed Bionic Chinese Skin
Designer skin for everyone!
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Biggest HiSeas 'Mars Mission' Problem? No Internet
I think sf writers have this covered!
Clever Electric Truck Generates More Power Than It Uses
Better than a fictional electrotruck!
Eden-ISS, Greenhouse In Antarctica
'With this kind of light we could get the gardens going again."
Make Space Tools On The Spot (Like Moties)
'A moment ago it was squeezing silver toothpaste in a ribbon...'
Will Robots Be Moral If We Raise Them Like Our Children?
'The birth of Machine, my robot child...'
Foldable Galaxy Phones, I Swear They're Coming (Maybe)
How hard can it be?
Bacteria Behave Differently In Space
'The Republic struggled to control its Sours...'
Brain Connected To Internet - ‘Brainternet'
Artificial Spider Silk
You can also use it to make a roof - on an asteroid.
MIT Tunes Ions For Frictionless Surface - Superlubricity!
'My telelubricator here neutralizes the interatomic bonds the surface of any solid...'
Seiko Astron Always Knows Your Time Zone
'Harrington glanced at his wrist watch - a bulky affair - and whistled.'
Robot Buddhist Priest Chants, Drums
'He crossed the waiting room to the Padre booth...'
Koniku Kore, Mouse Brain-Based Chip, Detects Explosives
'As a matter of fact, this mouse is going to keep on thinking forever.'
CNH Industrial Autonomous Tractor Concept Video
'...the tiny red glints of self-guided tractors.'
The Neuroon Open Sleep Tracker For Lucid Dreaming
'Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer on the bedside shelf.'
Siri Now Smoother, Perkier (Thanks, Deep Learning!)
'Good morning, Dr. Chandra. This is Hal.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories