A step into the future with BrainGate
February 22, 2012
“When I grow up, I want to be a neurosurgeon,” I would say, and the parents of my fellow kindergarteners would just stare at me.
Though neuroscience may not be my preferred field of expertise any longer that does not mean I have lost any interest in learning about the amazing capacity of the brain. So when I came across BrainGate, I just had to share it with the world.
Imagine the fusion of man and machine. Of course, we have already seen much of that through movies like Iron Man and Spider Man, but have we ever once considered it to be more than a run-a-way imagination? I know I haven’t.
The folks over at BrainGate thought quite differently. Projects led by the top universities includingBrownUniversity’s John Donoghue, have begun implanting tiny electrode receptors into the brains of paralyzed patients, allowing these people to interact with the outside world once again.
Through Matrix-like probes coming out of the patient’s brain, the integration between man and machine is complete. The person’s thoughts are then linked to a computer cursor that is displayed on the screen. The patient has the option of clicking on different desktop icons that are accessible on any personal computer, such as Google, Music Apps, and much more. When they think “click” in their brains, over an icon, such as a light bulb, the tool is selected and magically, the lights go off in the room. Just by thinking about their needs these people can start making their first steps towards a more productive lifestyle.
I may not be out there saving lives, but it’s reassuring to know that someone else is – and that they’re doing it the right way. But for now, this invention leaves you wondering; how far away are you from thinking “Play Music” in your brain, and for the speakers in your room to begin blasting your favorite song?