Celebrating Cool Technology: Direct Neural Interface

Anonymous Guest's picture
Submitted by Anonymous Guest on Sun, 2007-11-18 05:52

Scientists have developed software that can directly translate pulses from neurons (in the brain) into speech. This is not quite turning thoughts into speech, as the neurons in question (41 of them in the study) are involved in generating speech, i.e. the person has to imagine saying something and that activity is captured, analyzed and translated. This can potentially give a "voice" to accident victims who are "locked in" - aware but paralyzed and only able to communicate through eye movements.

Currently they are achieving about 80% accuracy so they have a long way to go, but there are some incredible possibilities once the technology is perfected and extended to other areas of the brain. Imagine, thinking of writing code, and it appears on the screen without typing via the keyboard, or visualizing a picture/painting/scene in great detail and have it appear on the screen without knowing how to draw.

More details of the work are here.

Very cool!! (via /.)

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I saw the robotic hand on the

Mark Hubbard's picture

I saw the robotic hand on the network news last night, Stephen. Very clever.

(This thread reminds me of Suma: I really enjoyed her posts.)

Mind to Hand

Stephen Boydstun's picture

Control of a robotic hand by thought has been demonstrated.

General Introduction

Stephen Boydstun's picture

Towards Replacement Parts for the Brain

Implantable Biomimetic Electronics as Neural Prostheses

Berger and Glanzman, editors. MIT Press (2005)

Table of Contents

Shoulder and Elbow

Stephen Boydstun's picture


Shoulder and elbow today. Wrist and hand tomorrow.





Exoskeletons? And to think

Aaron's picture

Exoskeletons? And to think I was impressed just with the moth brain interfaced to a robot (under 'Projects').


Stephen Boydstun's picture

Thanks for the links,

Suma's picture

Thanks for the links, Stephen.

Exoskeleton Turns Humans Into Terminators: Cannot leap over buildings, but this is the declassified stuff, so we can only wonder about what else the military may be working on.

Thanks for the info! I love

Aaron's picture

Thanks for the info! I love hearing news on developments in brain-machine-interface, such as monkeys controlling joysticks with their brain, artificial eyes by bonding direct to nerves, etc. I hadn't encountered the thought-word recognition before and it sounds like a great step forward.

Related Progress

Stephen Boydstun's picture

Thanks for the information, Suma.

Here are some related achievements and efforts:


Artificial Cochlea

Towards Silicon Retina

Towards Chip for Memory Repair

Add sharing memories, not

Suma's picture

Add sharing memories, not just photos and videos, to the head cinema, Mark.

Yes Claudia, exciting times to live in....I was going to post this picture from the Onion to your hot men thread before I saw Linz's Martha/Arthur warning! Laughing out loud I'm sure we will have a "hottest exoskeletons" thread in a few years!!
Physicist Stephen Hawking strolls the Cambridge University campus in his new $55 million exoskeleton

Math co-processor: yes, I'm

Mark Hubbard's picture

Math co-processor: yes, I'm in for one of those. I've more than a few knarly old farming clients who can beat me on division, which is embarrassing Smiling

Spell checker: just my luck I'd slot in an American one, and never be able to re-boot the damned thing to proper English.

Thesaurus chip: don't know, but I reckon I could raise an argument that therein would lie madness Smiling (Therein 'lay' madness').

Grammar checker. And, the killer application: head cinema (perhaps without the sub woofer though).


Richard Goode's picture

A thesaurus chip for me.


Olivia's picture

this is truly amazing.

What an incredible time we live in. I love it. Smiling

Spell Check

I want a spell check.


I have been waiting for a

reed's picture

I have been waiting for a maths co-processor.

This is incredible stuff

Mark Hubbard's picture

This is incredible stuff Suma.

 I've been waiting too long now for a bio-memory chip I can slot into my brain: sure hope someone is working on that.

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