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Norway to the future
Thursday, April 15, 2004
 
Implants approved
The FDA has approved human brain implant devices:

The idea is not to stimulate the mind but rather to map neural activity so as to discern when the brain is signaling a desire to make a particular physical movement.

"We're going to say to a paralyzed patient, 'imagine moving your hand six inches to the right,'" [Cyberkinetics chief executive Tim] Surgenor said.

Then, he said, researchers will try to identify the brain activity associated with that desire. Someday, that capacity could feed into related devices, such as a robotic arm, that help patients act on that desire.

It's misleading to say such technologies "read minds," said Dr. Jonathan Wolpaw, of the New York State Department of Health, who is conducting similar research. Instead, they train minds to recognize a new pattern of cause and effect, and adapt.

"What happens is you provide the brain with the opportunity to develop a new skill," he said.



Cool, I say. Cool.


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