February 8, 2012
…and much, much more.
Via: Royal Society:
Neural interfaces can be broadly separated into devices that input into neural systems and interfaces that record activity from brains to predict motor intentions. The most common method of establishing an interface is through the external recording of EEG signals although more invasive methods, such as implanting microelectrodes into the brain, are also being investigated. For example, Braingate, a small square chip with 100 microelectrodes, has been tested on paralyzed individuals, allowing them to control the movement of a cursor by simply imagining this motion. Braingate and other similar devices are implanted intracortically by a surgical procedure that involves the removal of a bone ‘flap’ and implantation of the chip on the surface of the brain. Electrical activity is recorded from tens to hundreds of neurons from the cortical surface, especially in areas like the motor cortex that initiate movement. These signals are picked up by the implant, decoded, and fed into an artificial limb, which allows a replication of actual motion.
NIS such as Braingate could also be used to allow long-range control of motion. Electrode arrays implanted in the nervous system could provide a connection between the nervous system of an ablebodied individual and a specific hardware or software system. Since the human brain can process images, such as targets, much faster than the subject is consciously aware of (see target detection) a neurally interfaced weapons systems could provide significant advantages over other system control methods in terms of speed and accuracy. However, such developments could raise significant ethical and legal concerns (see section 3 for further discussion).
This article was posted: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at 4:37 am