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 |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery
'It may be organic damage. It may be permanent. Time'll tell, and only after you are off Substance D for a long while.' - Philip K. Dick, 1977.

Organaut! Russians 3D Print Living Tissue In Space
'For a while your colonists will have to come up [to orbit] to the Hospital...' - Larry Niven, 1968.

MIT Scientists Create 'Peek-a-Boo Prober' From Jetsons
Well, George, it's the latest thing.

Wound Healing With Wearable Nanogenerators
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to ... erase the other internal-external damage.' - Frank Herbert, 1972.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

North Focals Smart Glasses Provide Augmented Reality In Style
'The world ... is drenched in unfamiliar information all the way to the horizon.'

Tesla Driver Caught Napping Behind The Wheel
'Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...'

Hayabusa 2 To Begin Asteroid Mining
'We must dig down, and then doubtless we shall find the metal.'

Ionocraft Drone Powered By Electrohydrodynamic Thrust
'He saw one hiss by him as he rounded the corner, trailing a short whip antenna...'

Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery
'It may be organic damage. It may be permanent. Time'll tell, and only after you are off Substance D for a long while.'

BloxVox Mutes Cellphone Convos
It's the polite thing to do, and has been the polite thing to do for about four generations.

Superfast Replicator: Volumetric Additive Manufacturing
I can't wait. Bring it on.

DNA May Contain Malware
'You were told to embed the logical pathogen.'

I Can't Resist Worm Robots
'Seen close it was not completely flexible...'

Rplate Digital License Plates Now Legal In Michigan
'Gragg's digital ink license plates ...'

Can Musk Starship Astronauts Use Magnetic Boots?
'Walking awkwardly in the magnetic boots that held him to the black mass of meteoric iron...'

Giant Dolphin Spotted On Jupiter!
'Now at last he could appreciate its real size and complexity...'

Musk's Starship An SF Fan's Dream Come True
Perfect for testing, perfect for fans!

TinyMobileRobots Are Sewer Sentinels
Every movie monster gets its start someplace.

Fishy Facial Recognition Now Possible
'Palenkis can identify random line patterns better than any other species in the universe.'

Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.