“This is like one of the coolest video games I’ve ever gotten to play with,” he said.
“This is like one of the coolest video games I’ve ever gotten to play with,” he said.“And I don’t even have to put a quarter in it.” The study’s results are the culmination of a long-running collaboration between Henderson and Shenoy and a multi-institutional consortium called Brain Gate.
“We know the steps we have to take to get there.” Degray, who continues to participate actively in the research, knew how to type before his accident but was no expert at it.
He described his newly revealed prowess in the language of a video game aficionado.
Neilsen Foundation, the Stanford Medical Scientist Training Program, Stanford Bio X-Neuro Ventures, the Stanford Institute for Neuro-Innovation and Translational Neuroscience, the Stanford Neuroscience Institute, Larry and Pamela Garlick, Samuel and Betsy Reeves, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the U. Department of Veterans Affairs, the MGH-Dean Institute for Integrated Research on Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Stanford’s Office of Technology Licensing holds intellectual property on the intercortical BCI-related engineering advances made in Shenoy’s lab.
Stanford research assistant Christine Blabe was also a study co-author, as were Brain Gate researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Case Western University.
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health (grants R01DC014034, R011NS066311, R01DC009899, N01HD53404 and N01HD10018), the Stanford Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, the Craig H.Millions of people with paralysis reside in the United States.Sometimes their paralysis comes gradually, as occurs in ALS.Previous generations picked up signals first via electrical leads placed on the scalp, then by being surgically positioned at the brain’s surface beneath the skull.An intracortical BCI uses a tiny silicon chip, just over one-sixth of an inch square, from which protrude 100 electrodes that penetrate the brain to about the thickness of a quarter and tap into the electrical activity of individual nerve cells in the motor cortex.Each participant, after minimal training, mastered the technique sufficiently to outperform the results of any previous test of brain-computer interfaces, or BCIs, for enhancing communication by people with similarly impaired movement.Notably, the study participants achieved these typing rates without the use of automatic word-completion assistance common in electronic keyboarding applications nowadays, which likely would have boosted their performance.A clinical research paper led by Stanford University investigators has demonstrated that a brain-to-computer hookup can enable people with paralysis to type via direct brain control at the highest speeds and accuracy levels reported to date.The report involved three study participants with severe limb weakness — two from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, and one from a spinal cord injury.Henderson likened the resulting improved resolution of neural sensing, compared with that of older-generation BCIs, to that of handing out applause meters to individual members of a studio audience rather than just stationing them on the ceiling, “so you can tell just how hard and how fast each person in the audience is clapping.” Shenoy said the day will come — closer to five than 10 years from now, he predicted —when a self-calibrating, fully implanted wireless system can be used without caregiver assistance, has no cosmetic impact and can be used around the clock.“I don’t see any insurmountable challenges.” he said.