Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Paralyzed man moves with mind power (and scientists)
He had a brain-computer setup--with recording electrodes under his skull and a functional electrical stimulation (FES) system activating his muscles--with direction from his brain.
This guy is the focal point of research led by Case Western Reserve. The work was published in Lancet this week.
This is a major step toward independence for the spinal cord injury community, according to a top researchers at Case.
Basically, they take the brain signals Kochevar, who was injured in a bike accident, emits when he attempts to, say, scratch his nose, and use them to control his arm or hand.
This research is part of a larger effort called BrainGate 2--a clinical trial being held by academic and VA institutions.
The 96-channel electrode array implanted in Kochevar's skull is about the size of a baby aspiring. He practiced emitting these signals on a virtual reality arm on a computer.
He could do it within minutes.
Then the 36 electrical stimulation electrodes were placed in his arm.
After a while, he could just think "out" and the arm would reach out.
Kocehvar may get more surgery to make this even more precise.