Feb 16, 2017

Brain implants might soon restore vision to the blind, improve digestion, relieve PTSD symptoms

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, robotics/AI

[Brain implant experiments] like those that let a paralyzed person swig coffee using a robotic arm, or that let blind people “see” spots of light, have proven the huge potential of computers that interface with the brain. But the implanted electrodes used in such trials eventually become useless, as scar tissue forms that degrades their electrical connection to brain cells.

[However,] tests will begin in monkeys of a new implant for piping data into the brain that is designed to avoid that problem. [Led by Harvard researchers,] the project is intended to lead to devices that can restore vision to blind people long-term…[The device will] go beneath the skull but can rest on the surface of an animal’s brain, instead of penetrating inside the organ.

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