Breaking the record in communicating through a brain implant: 62 words per minute

Eight years ago, a patient lost his power of speech ALS Or lost to Lou Gehrig’s disease, which causes paralysis. Although he can still make sounds, he utters unintelligible words. Now, after volunteering to receive brain implantthe woman was able to say phrases like “I don’t own my house” and “it’s hard” at a speed close to normal speech.

In a yet-to-be-peer-reviewed paper, Stanford University scientists explain that their volunteer has broken previous records for using a brain implant to communicate, succeeding at speed 62 words per minute, to speak that its speed is three times better compared to the previous record. In the continuation of the report about this great development, it is written that people without speech impairment usually at a speed of approx 160 words per minute they’re talking.

Activity of motor neurons with brain implant

The brain-computer interface the researchers are working with consists of a small pad of sharp electrodes that are placed in a person’s motor cortex. This allows researchers to record the activity of multiple neurons simultaneously and find patterns that reflect the movements a person is thinking about, even if they are paralyzed.

In the new research, the Stanford team wanted to know whether neurons in the motor cortex contain useful information about speech movements.

Speech movements are subtle and small, and only a few neurons contained enough information to allow a computer program to predict with good accuracy the words the patient was trying to say, the scientists said. This information was then transferred to a computer screen, and the words the patient was trying to say to the computer were displayed on it.

ALS disease

The current brain implant system currently uses several types of machine learning programs. To improve its accuracy, the Stanford team also used software that predicts what words typically appear in a sentence.

Philip Sabes, a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, who was not involved in this project, called the results of this research a “major advance” and said that the experimental brain-reading technology could soon leave the laboratory and become a useful product.

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