Mint Primer: Can brain-tech treat paralysis, mental illness?
SummaryNeuralink, Elon Musk’s brain-tech startup, is looking to launch clinical trials to put brain implants that would enable patients with deep neural disabilities, such as paralysis, to discharge normal functions such as reading and speech. Is this sci-fi? Apparently not.
What does Neuralink want to achieve?
Neuralink’s brain-computer interface is based on a tiny chip that will be surgically implanted in the brain. This chip will be implanted in an area of the brain that controls neural impulses for movement. Once inserted, this chip will read and wirelessly transmit the brain’s impulses to an app placed in front of the patient, which will produce outputs based on a user’s thoughts. This will be done by decoding the instructions being sent by the brain, and translating the neural impulses into action on the screen. In the first trials, the firm will get people suffering from paralysis to move a cursor on a computer screen.