Researchers at the Crick, Stanford University and UCL have developed a new brain reading technology that will help amputees, patients with paralysis and people with motor neuron disease. The new method of accurate recording of brain activity combines silicon chip technology with very thin wires, which are 15 times thinner than a human hair. The wires can be placed deep inside the brain without damage, to control brain activity in specific areas of the brain.
Andreas Schaefer, group leader in the neurophysiology of behaviour laboratory at the Crick and professor of neuroscience at UCL, says:
“This technology can transmit a signal from the brain to a machine, for example, to help those who have amputations. They will be able to control a prosthetic limb to shake a hand or stand up. It can also be used to generate electrical signals in the brain when neurons are damaged and fail to work, such as in motor neuron disease”.
The new brain reading technology will also be used to create a fully integrated brain computer interface system. It is developed by the Texas-based company Paradromics, founded by Matthew Angle, one of the authors of this research.