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 -
Sleeep PRO Earplug For Maximum Rest
'Merton... placed the electrodes of the sleep-inducer on his forehead.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1963.
You'll Regrow That Limb, One Day
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers.' - Frank Herbert, 1972.
First 3D Printed Human Corneas From Stem Cells
Just what we need! Lots of spare parts.
Nanorobots Roam Your Bloodstream, Cleaning It
Too bad they won't have lasers, though...
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.
Jaguar I-Pace Audible Vehicle Alert System For EVs
'Of course not a vehicle moved by means of internal explosions of a derivative of rock oil...'
Autonomous 'Fiberbots' Weave Large Structures
'It extrudes material like a spider.'
Birds Aren't Real - Wake Up, California! (With Bird Watching Guide)
'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.'
Self-Healing Material Pulls Carbon Out Of The Air
'... could seal the punctures.'
IRL Glasses Block Screens, Limit Vision To Real Life
'If you couldn't see the ads, how would you know what was fashionable?'
Testing The Single-Person Spacecraft
'...the lower part of the suit was simply a rigid cylinder.'
Shapeshifting Materials Transform By Light
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'
Fully Automated Farm Iron Ox Hydroponics
'Had these machines in some incredible fashion been provided with brains?'
BrainNet Social Network Of Brains
'I used my implant to tell MILLIE what we wanted and she took care of it'
Phil Nuyttnn's City Under The Sea
'Under the lower roof there was no water, but a clear and luminous atmosphere...'
IONITY Opens First 10 Fast-Charging Stations
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'
Superstrong Multilayer Metal-Graphene Composite Material
Negligible increase in weight increased material strength by hundreds of times.
Deepfakes Imperil Democracy (George Orwell, Right Again)
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'
String Art Courtesy Of Robot Artist
The number of different ways to span a thread between a larger number of hooks is astronomical.
Still Wondering If You'd Work For A Robot Boss?
'This is all coming to you courtesy of the simstim unit wired into your deck, of course.'
World's First Autonomous Tram In Germany
What's it like for autonomous trams when they're turned off at night?
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories