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Brain-Computer Interface Still Going After 1,000 Days

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the has-not-assimilated-anyone-else-yet dept.

Biotech 77

An anonymous reader writes "Remember BrainGate? The implanted system lets people with paralysis control computer cursors and other devices just by thinking about moving them with their hand. A new report shows that it is still going strong in a patient 1,000 days past her implant."

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First post (3, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35611112)

Because I didn't have to use my hands.

Second post (1)

cultiv8 (1660093) | more than 3 years ago | (#35611230)

wondering how this can be used for porn

Third post (1)

RussellSHarris (1385323) | more than 3 years ago | (#35611276)

...because obviously my hands were (ahem) preoccupied.

Re:Third post (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35619262)

So you can do yourself AND do a reach-around on somebody else!

Re:Second post (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35611278)

A better question is, how can't it be used for porn? I mean at the very least, you have hands-free control of a computer.

Re:Second post (2)

donotlizard (1260586) | more than 3 years ago | (#35611378)

Yeah, but if you can control the cursor by thinking about moving your hand(s), then wouldn't the cursor be in a constant erratic motion?

Re:Second post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35612034)

You could probably make some kind of computer-controlled robotic arm for a ... novelty item which you could then control with your thoughts. You wouldn't even need your hands to ... exercise.

Re:Second post (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35612134)

This is also the beginnings of the input side of a Matrix-like virtual world. The first application is going to be Woman In Red.

Re:Second post (1)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 3 years ago | (#35613098)

rule 34!

Re:Second post (1)

Homr Zodyssey (905161) | more than 3 years ago | (#35616304)

Clean socks...?

oblig. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35611284)

Bad Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35611184)

When I first read this I had flashes of "watergate" "wikigate" etc etc and thought "this is either really overhyped or really bad" - luckily its just cool.

Re:Bad Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35611220)

It's a bad summary because it refers to the name of the product and you're so brainwashed by modern media that you associate the word "gate" with a scandal?

Re:Bad Summary (4, Insightful)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35611298)

It's a fair summary, but I probably wouldn't have started with "Remember BrainGate?", because I think a large chunk of the slashdot crowd (myself included) has been conditioned to let out a groan and stop reading the second we see the gate suffix applied to anything. Especially when a word like "remember" is shoved in there, because remember tends to reference an event or person.

"BrainGate, an implanted system lets people with.." might have been better for the slashdot crowd.

It's sad that I don't think anything I've said is... insane. This gate suffix garbage has really gotten that bad!

Re:Bad Summary (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35614260)

This gate suffix garbage has really gotten that bad!

I know. It's time to bring an end to SuffixGate once and for all.

Re:Bad Summary (1)

More_Cowbell (957742) | more than 3 years ago | (#35614464)

I've been on Facebook too long... my first instinct was to hit 'like'.

Re:Bad Summary (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35611238)

yup, that was my first knee-jerk reaction as well.

"Oh great, another over-hyped controversy for which some empty suit has appended a "gate" suffix too".

Pretty bad that it's gotten to that point.

Re:Bad Summary (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35611244)

STFU, moron.

BrainGate, still going strong... (2)

earls (1367951) | more than 3 years ago | (#35611290)

Unlike their web server. :p

Malda-gate (-1, Offtopic)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 3 years ago | (#35611296)

Rob Malda is a 26-year old white male with a stocky build and a beard. His head is shaved. He responded to my ad to be interviewed for this article wearing only leather pants, leather boots and a leather vest. I could see that both of his nipples were pierced with large-gauge silver rings.

Questioner: I hope you won't be offended if I ask you to prove to me that you're a nullo. Just so that our readers will know that this isn't a fake.

Rob: Sure, no problem. (stands and unbuckles pants and drops them to his ankles, revealing a smooth, shaven crotch with only a thin scar to show where his genitals once were).

Q: Thank you. That's a remarkable sight.

(laughs and pulls pants back up). Most people think so.

Q: What made you decide to become a nullo?

(pauses). Well, it really wasn't entirely my decision.

Q: Excuse me?

The idea wasn't mine. It was my lover's idea.

Q: Please explain what you mean.

Okay, it's a long story. You have to understand my relationship with Michael before you'll know what happened.

Q: We have plenty of time. Please go on.

Both of us were into the leather lifestyle when we met through a personal ad. Michael's ad was very specific: he was looking for someone to completely dominate and modify to his pleasure. In other word, a slave.

The ad intrigued me. I had been in a number of B&D scenes and also some S&M, but I found them unsatisfying because they were all temporary. After the fun was over, everybody went on with life as usual.

I was looking for a complete life change. I wanted to meet someone who would be part of my life forever. Someone who would control me and change me at his whim.

Q: In other words, you're a true masochist.

Oh yes, no doubt about that. I've always been totally passive in my sexual relationships.

Anyway, we met and there was instant chemistry. Michael is a few years older than me and very good looking. Our personalities meshed totally. He's very dominant.

I went back to his place after drinks and had the best sex of my life. That's when I knew I was going to be with Michael for a long, long time.

Q: What sort of things did you two do?

It was very heavy right away. He restrained me and whipped me for quite awhile. He put clamps on my nipples and a ball gag in my mouth. And he hung a ball bag on my sack with some very heavy weights. That bag really bounced around when Michael fucked me from behind.

Q: Ouch.

(laughs) Yeah, no kidding. At first I didn't think I could take the pain, but Michael worked me through it and after awhile I was flying. I was sorry when it was over.

Michael enjoyed it as much as I did. Afterwards he talked about what kind of a commitment I'd have to make if I wanted to stay with him.

Q: What did he say exactly?

Well, besides agreeing to be his slave in every way, I'd have to be ready to be modified. To have my body modified.

Q: Did he explain what he meant by that?

Not specifically, but I got the general idea. I guessed that something like castration might be part of it.

Q: How did that make you feel?

(laughs) I think it would make any guy a little hesitant.

Q: But it didn't stop you from agreeing to Michael's terms?

No it didn't. I was totally hooked on this man. I knew that I was willing to pay any price to be with him.

Anyway, a few days later I moved in with Michael. He gave me the rules right away: I'd have to be naked at all times while we were indoors, except for a leather dog collar that I could never take off. I had to keep my head shaved. And I had to wear a butt plug except when I needed to take a shit or when we were having sex.

I had to sleep on the floor next to his bed. I ate all my food on the floor, too.

The next day he took me to a piercing parlor where he had my nipples done, and a Prince Albert put into the head of my cock.

Q: Heavy stuff.

Yeah, and it got heavier. He used me as a toilet, pissing in my mouth. I had to lick his asshole clean after he took a shit, too. It was all part of a process to break down any sense of individuality I had. After awhile, I wouldn't hesitate to do anything he asked.

Q: Did the sex get rougher?

Oh God, yeah. He started fisting me every time we had sex. But he really started concentrating on my cock and balls, working them over for hours at a time.

He put pins into the head of my cock and into my sack. He attached clothespins up and down my cock and around my sack. The pain was pretty bad. He had to gag me to keep me from screaming.

Q: When did the idea of nullification come up?

Well, it wasn't nullification at first. He started talking about how I needed to make a greater commitment to him, to do something to show that I was dedicated to him for life.

When I asked him what he meant, he said that he wanted to take my balls.

Q: How did you respond?

Not very well at first. I told him that I liked being a man and didn't want to become a eunuch. But he kept at me, and wore me down. He reminded me that I agreed to be modified according to his wishes, and this is what he wanted for me. Anything less would show that I wasn't really committed to the relationship. And besides, I was a total bottom and didn't really need my balls.

It took about a week before I agreed to be castrated. But I wasn't happy about it, believe me.

Q: How did he castrate you?

Michael had a friend who was into the eunuch scene. One night he came over with his bag of toys, and Michael told me that this was it. I was gonna lose my nuts then and there.

Q: Did you think of resisting?

I did for a minute, but deep down I knew there was no way. I just didn't want to lose Michael. I'd rather lose my balls.

Michael's friend restrained me on the living room floor while Michael videotaped us. He used an elastrator to put a band around my sack.

Q: That must have really hurt.

Hell yeah. It's liked getting kicked in the balls over and over again. I screamed for him to cut the band off, but he just kept on going, putting more bands on me. I had four bands around my sack when he finished.

I was rolling around on the floor screaming, while Michael just videotaped me. Eventually, my sack got numb and the pain subsided. I looked between my legs and could see my sack was a dark purple. I knew my balls were dying inside.

Michael and his friend left the room and turned out the light. I lay there for hours, crying because I was turning into a eunuch and there wasn't anything I could do about it.

Q: What happened then?

Eventually I fell asleep from exhaustion. Then the light switched on and I could see Michael's friend kneeling between my legs, touching my sack. I heard him tell Michael that my balls were dead.

Q: How did Michael react?

Very pleased. He bent down and felt around my sack. He said that it felt cold.

Michael's friend told me that I needed to keep the bands on. He said that eventually my balls and sack would dry up and fall off. I just nodded. What else could I do at that point?

Q: Did it happen just like Michael's friend said?

Yeah, a week or so later my package just fell off. Michael put it in a jar of alcohol to preserve it. It's on the table next to his bed.

Q: How did things go after that?

Michael was really loving to me. He kept saying how proud he was of me, how grateful that I had made the commitment to him. He even let me sleep in his bed.

Q: What about the sex?

We waited awhile after my castration, and then took it easy until I was completely healed. At first I was able to get hard, but as the weeks went by my erections began to disappear.

That pleased Michael. He liked fucking me and feeling my limp cock. It made his dominance over me even greater.

Q: When did he start talking about making you a nullo?

A couple of months after he took my nuts. Our sex had gotten to be just as rough as before the castration. He really got off on torturing my cock. Then he started saying stuff like, "Why do you even need this anymore?"

That freaked me out. I always thought that he might someday take my balls, but I never imagined that he'd go all the way. I told him that I wanted to keep my dick.

Q: How did he react to that?

At first he didn't say much. But he kept pushing. Michael said I would look so nice being smooth between my legs. He said my dick was small and never got hard anymore, so what was the point of having it.

But I still resisted. I wanted to keep my cock. I felt like I wouldn't be a man anymore without it.

Q: So how did he get you to agree?

He didn't. He took it against my will.

Q: How did that happen?

We were having sex in the basement, and I was tied up and bent over this wooden bench as he fucked me. Then I heard the doorbell ring. Michael answered it, and he brought this guy into the room.

At first I couldn't see anything because of the way I was tied. But then I felt these hands lift me up and put me on my back. And I could see it was Michael's friend, the guy who took my nuts.

Q: How did you react?

I started screaming and crying, but the guy just gagged me. The two of them dragged me to the other side of the room where they tied me spread eagled on the floor.

Michael's friend snaked a catheter up my dick, and gave me a shot to numb my crotch. I was grateful for that, at least. I remember how bad it hurt to lose my balls.

Q: What was Michael doing at this time?

He was kneeling next to me talking quietly. He said I'd be happy that they were doing this. That it would make our relationship better. That kind of calmed me down. I thought, "Well, maybe it won't be so bad."

Q: How long did the penectomy take?

It took awhile. Some of the penis is inside the body, so he had to dig inside to get all of it. There was a lot of stitching up and stuff. He put my cock in the same jar with my balls. You can even see the Prince Albert sticking out of the head.

Then they made me a new pisshole. It's between my asshole and where my sack used to be. So now I have to squat to piss.

Q: What has life been like since you were nullified?

After I got over the surgery and my anger, things got better. When I healed up, I began to like my smooth look. Michael brought friends over and they all admired it, saying how pretty I looked. It made me feel good that Michael was proud of me.

Q: Do you have any sexual feeling anymore?

Yes, my prostate still responds when Michael fucks me or uses the buttplug. And my nipples are quite sensitive. If Michael plays with them while fucking me, I have a kind of orgasm. It's hard to describe, but it's definitely an orgasm.

Sometimes Michael says he's gonna have my prostate and nipples removed, but he's just kidding around. He's happy with what he's done to me.

Q: So are you glad Michael had you nullified?

Well, I wouldn't say I'm glad. If I could, I'd like to have my cock and balls back. But I know that I'm a nullo forever. So I'm making the best of it.

Michael and I are very happy. I know that he'll take care of me and we'll be together always. I guess losing my manhood was worth it to make that happen for us.

past her? after her (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35611334)

learn to english

Quality of life? (4, Insightful)

symes (835608) | more than 3 years ago | (#35611380)

From the article:

Results across five consecutive days demonstrate that a neural interface system based on an intracortical microelectrode array can provide repeatable, accurate point-and-click control of a computer interface to an individual with tetraplegia 1000 days after implantation of this sensor.

This seems pretty impressive, but what the article does not seem to cover is quality of life issues such devises might impact on. I would imagine the improvement in quality of life to someone with tetraplegia could be huge.

Re:Quality of life? (4, Informative)

CrashandDie (1114135) | more than 3 years ago | (#35611596)

Not really. My girlfriend takes care of people who suffer of tetraplegia (C1 up to C6), and unless we can use those interfaces to have robots dress them, cook for them, undress them, change their catheter bag, wash them, iron their bedding (to prevent sores), etc, a neural interface would be of pretty limited use.

Sure, it could allow them to communicate, use a computer, or even use the phone / telly, but from what I've seen, few people with such a level of handicap have the drive to do those activities on a regular basis.

Remember that these are people who can't sit up without help we're talking about. Twitter is not one of their priorities, from what I can tell.

Re:Quality of life? (4, Insightful)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 3 years ago | (#35611722)

Surely being able to do something as mundane as posting on Slashdot (which this may allow) would raise their level of social interaction a great deal over their baseline, even if it tends to be unsatisfying. Not only that, they could do more like search for ebooks to read, build a playlist of music and start/stop it, or even program a sequencer and synthesizer to play their own music.
Maybe even after reading the right ebooks someone may teach himself to program or do digital art or learn a foreign language and use these skills to find a job that could be done remotely.
There's a lot of things that can be done with just a mouse these days.

It's far from independence and normal interaction, but it's got to be a much bigger set of options than what they've got right now.
On the other hand, it's all just conjecture on my part.

Re:Quality of life? (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 3 years ago | (#35611982)

Think of this as a start. Maybe with advancements they can extend the control to other things. Maybe there is a way to implant something to let these people move their own body. You can for the extreme and do a body prosthetic a la Ghost in Shell. Even if we had the technology to do a full body prosthetic I am not sure humanity is ready to accept it yet.

Re:Quality of life? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35615804)

Even if we had the technology to do a full body prosthetic I am not sure humanity is ready to accept it yet.

And sadly, it would be probably a possibility mostly limited, for some time at least [*], to those whose brains are still highly pliable. Meaning mostly the young. Oh, imagine the moral panic caused by that one...

* If I were to guess, it will be limited like that for all of our (perceptibly ever faster nearing to an end at that point) lifetime - talk about frustrating.

Re:Quality of life? (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#35612914)

If I was tetraplegia and I didn't have the ability to use computers like everyone else I would probably rather die. At least you could play games and sort of escape reality. You could also work, and have some sense of purpose like you said.

Re:Quality of life? (4, Interesting)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 3 years ago | (#35615888)

Being able to make their bed raise/lower, change a channel, turn on/off/up/down the AC, close shades, turn on/off the television/radio, change channels/stations, surf the web, play some games, chat (slowly) with others online, and any number of other uses would be pretty huge I'd think. And easy to connect to a computer. And would lead to big QoL improvements; there's a pretty GIGANTIC difference between being able to do something yourself and needing to ask a caretaker to do it for you.

I've a friend who is severely handicapped (thalidomide) and is 90% confined to a wheel chair as a result. He has little devices his dad made for him that allow him to do some tasks he previously had to ask for help on. We met through a role-playing gamer's group, and when we all brainstormed a way to set him up with a gadget that would let him pick and roll his own dice he was pretty freaking happy about it because it meant he no longer had to ask someone to do it for him.

Hell, even in my own life, and I am fortunately quite able bodied, when I've had times where I wasn't able to do things for myself I would often choose to suffer in silence rather than ask a caretaker to do something for me because I didn't want to bother them. This can be huge.

Re:Quality of life? (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 3 years ago | (#35620270)

I have multiple disabilites too. Computers + Communication (bulletin board systems/BBS' and Internet) are big gifts to me. I can't talk and hear well due to my impediments, but I can type and read.

Re:Quality of life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35617848)

You could also start a cult of people who are going to abandon their bodies and join you in a virtual world.

Re:Quality of life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35612130)

wow, what an incredibly limited viewpoint.
You are determining what a group of people will want based on the limitations they currently have.

What you can't easily factor in, is what value 'privacy' and simulated independence may have to a group that is so dependent on others for everyday life.

My guess is a large portion will find xHamster very interesting....

Re:Quality of life? (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 3 years ago | (#35612140)

Remember that these are people who can't sit up without help we're talking about. Twitter is not one of their priorities, from what I can tell.

I think you're missing the point. They can't sit up without help, but with this interface, they can use a computer without help. Painfully slow, sure, but hey, I think they have some time on their hands. I mean, they're not going anywhere.

They still need help in the real world, but I think they'd still use it quite a bit in between rousing games of stare-at-paint and yell-at-nurse.

Re:Quality of life? (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 3 years ago | (#35612326)

after 1,000 days a woman who has no functional use of her limbs and is unable to speak can reliably control a cursor on a computer screen using only the intended movement of her hand

Substitute "a cursor on a computer screen" with "exoskeleton robotic suit" [cyberdyne.jp] and you are way beyond "pretty limited use".

Re:Quality of life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35612716)

Did you really just imply that if a neural interface didn't improve the caretaker's job, that it's fairly useless? You do know that those are human beings with vibrant minds and personalities trapped within a body they can't communicate with anymore, right?

Remember that these are people

You should have just stopped there and remembered it yourself.

Re:Quality of life? (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 3 years ago | (#35616668)

Ah, that's it. I was having a hard time figuring out how someone could even hold this kind of thought in their head. He's only looking at this from his perspective. Well, not entirely, I guess he's thinking about his girlfriend's perspective. He fails to place himself in their wheelchairs and look at it from their perspective. Isn't that kind of psychopathic behavior?

How the hell did this get to +5 insightful? Are we all psychopaths?

Re:Quality of life? (1)

bratloaf (1287954) | more than 3 years ago | (#35612982)

I assume (Without RFA) that this interface could be used in some way to pass simple commands. Oh, like opcodes say. Something the user could be trained to do.

If so, they why couldnt this interface be used to control a robot-arm RIGHT NOW. Or any number of other, more special purpose robotics/devices? I.e. Television, radio, tilt bed, ring nurse for drink, "Im Wet" etc. etc.

I think you are shortsighted at the possibilities here. Just having a successful interface that doesn't burn out the neurons after THREE YEARS is an amazing achievement. This is clearly an alpha-implementation. Think of the possibilities. Heck, look at what Stephen Hawking can do with one finger.

Re:Quality of life? (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#35613038)

the robot arm I've already seen implemented, there's a few videos floting around with monkeys with such implants using a robotic arm to feed themselves with their own arms restrained.

Re:Quality of life? (1)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 3 years ago | (#35612994)

I don't know about complex tasks like dressing and feeding but I would think this interface alone should be used to allow some movement. If it can be wired into a computer to act as a mouse surely there is enough control there that it could be used to raise/lower a recliner. Maybe it could even be used to drive an electric wheelchair? It seems almost cruel to me that they have this wonderful implant in her but they only chose to use it as a mouse.

Of course... it can probably only be used for one kind of task. I'm sure the brain learns to use it as a mouse and plugging it into something else would require huge amounts of retraining the brain each time it is done. Maybe it is a choice of either mobility (hooking it to a chair) or communication (the computer). So what? Be creative! Hook the computer to the chair and let her control it with "mouse clicks".

Re:Quality of life? (1)

Arterion (941661) | more than 3 years ago | (#35620632)

Exactly. A mouse is actually extremely versatile -- she can use the mouse to click buttons to operate anything.

Re:Quality of life? (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35613030)

...unless we can use those interfaces to have robots dress them, cook for them, undress them, change their catheter bag, wash them, iron their bedding (to prevent sores), etc...

Well, to be fair, those robots aren't going to exist in any practical manner until the victim has some means to control them. A proper handicap-aid system that allows a victims of a particular debilitating condition (MS, ALS, tetraplegia, etc.) to function like they did before they were disabled is still a long ways off, yes. But developing neural interfaces alongside appropriately sensitive hardware for use in the types of applications you are describing is necessary to get there one day. Technology of this sort tends to come in baby steps.

Re:Quality of life? (2)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#35613154)

you really think something like this wouldn't be any use to someone who is totally paralysed?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoRVZgLaXus [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnWSah4RD2E [youtube.com]

you might not be able to change your underwear but being able to scratch your nose, change the channel or raise/lower their bed would be kinda a big deal when you're totally paralysed.

long term it might even be possible to hook the output of such an interface up to something like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYE7eB6fksM [youtube.com]

to allow mobility.
or this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYE7eB6fksM [youtube.com]

Re:Quality of life? (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35617368)

So it's not worth it because it only really helps the tetraplegic, not the people caring for the tetraplegic? What the hell?

Re:Quality of life? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35619472)

Is it that they don't want to do those things or that they can't psychologically afford to want to do those things?

It seems likely though that if they can operate a mouse with it, they could probably operate an arm at least.

Re:Quality of life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35628862)

unless we can use those interfaces to have robots dress them, cook for them, undress them, change their catheter bag, wash them, iron their bedding (to prevent sores), etc, a neural interface would be of pretty limited use.

This is an interface which allows them to issue controls to any receiver, without having to use any actual muscle impulses.
Yes, that's correct. Even if you could not move one muscle in your body, including your eyes or tongue, you could still issue commands to a device.

Stephen Hawking would no longer have to use that stupid fucking joystick to control his chair and his text-to-speech synthesizer. And with a little more work on the Power Loader exoskeleton the military is working on, he can replace his wheel chair with a robotic exoskeleton that will give him full use of hands and legs.
(And a laser cannon in his chest. Why? Why to crush All Those Who Oppose Him!!!!)

Remember that these are people who can't sit up without help we're talking about. Twitter is not one of their priorities, from what I can tell.

Ok, excuse me while I go literally bash my skull against a wall.

You know what most bed-ridden people want, more than ANYTHING else in the world? Normal Human Contact. When you literally cannot move, simple communication is the FIRST priority. Chances are they would enjoy reading Twitter a LOT more than having to stare at the Weather Channel until the Nurse comes by and switches it to Judge Judy. It's the difference between having to rely on an aid for EVERYTHING and only having to rely on them for SOME things.
And that alone makes all the difference in the world.

Re:Quality of life? (1)

alienzed (732782) | more than 3 years ago | (#35612636)

Yeah! Finally they can read Slashdot and play Quake Live.

When is this coming out? (1)

igi-111 (2025332) | more than 3 years ago | (#35611384)

If it's working on a long time period, then when will this technology get common, and when are we going to see useful application(like real new computing interfaces or remotely controlled)? Does it mean that we'll be able to make artificial arms soon? Who can travel to the future and tell me if it's full of cyborgs?

Re:When is this coming out? (1)

socz (1057222) | more than 3 years ago | (#35613062)

It's going to be like Ghost in the Shell where we can plug in and do all you're saying and more! Can't wait for it yeah!!!

1000 days is good... (1)

Coisiche (2000870) | more than 3 years ago | (#35611434)

...but it needs to last a lifetime.

Re:1000 days is good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35612186)


“None of us will be fully satisfied with an intracortical recording device until it provides decades of useful signals,” Hochberg said

Re:1000 days is good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35612440)

Even if it still works after a decade, it'd probably be obsolete by then. Time to upgrade to the new model that lets you operate robotic limbs too.

1000 days (1)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 3 years ago | (#35611446)

So... that's 2.7 years... but the thing was implanted in 2005 according to TFA. Is this top secret somehow? Has any new development happened in the meantime? Has the life expectancy of this device been improved?

All in all, this article doesn't give much information about the current level of brain interface technology... it's about three years out of date.

Re:1000 days (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35611602)

So... that's 2.7 years... but the thing was implanted in 2005 according to TFA

"Well, not 1,000 days in a row" - Scientist

Re:1000 days (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 3 years ago | (#35611624)

They only discuss the first 1000 days because that data has been released through a journal. All data after that has only been discussed at conferences and hasn't yet gone through peer review.

Re:1000 days (5, Interesting)

Vesvvi (1501135) | more than 3 years ago | (#35611638)

The last time I saw a presentation on brain interface technology was almost a year ago, so I'm not 100% current either, but the current state of the art isn't that great.

The fundamental problem is that the brain/hardware interface breaks down with time. In simple terms, it looks like the extremely soft brain tissue doesn't stand up to being in hard contact with the rigid electrodes (there's a nice picture in the article: they look like meat tenderizers). In the long run, there is formation of a buffer zone of unusable tissue between viable brain matter and the electrodes which blocks the signal. This is an area of substantial research: trying to build nanomaterials that serve as a good physical buffer between the brain and electrode, which is a non-trivial problem. Success in this goal can directly lead to longer-lived devices.

So when they say

no evidence has emerged of any fundamental incompatibility between the sensor and the brain

that's not entirely honest. Yes, their sensor still works fine but they still need to adapt it to be more brain-compatible. My personal guess is that this one patient just happens to have a lucky brain composition/response.

Re:1000 days (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#35612084)

And then comes the next trick, being able to feed data back...

Re:1000 days (1)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 3 years ago | (#35612638)

That is why they said "fundamental incompatibility" instead of just "incompatibility".

Re:1000 days (1)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 3 years ago | (#35613026)

I read a while ago that researches were making neurons communicate with light. When the neuron fires it glows. Then the sensor doesn't HAVE to touch the brain directly.

-Gate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35611486)

Too many political reports left me wondering why this is a scandal.

The Daily Chimpout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35611494)

Today, featuring PCB BK [youtube.com]

/.ed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35611588)

Seems Computer-Computer interfaces needs a little work though, i'm getting Service Unavailable

Terrifying. (2)

GodricL (1898284) | more than 3 years ago | (#35611726)

Looking at the picture, it looks like that poor S3 has a massive SCSI cable connected to her head. It looks really awkward and uncomfortable. They couldn't use USB? Or Bluetooth? If you wiggle the cable... can she feel the implant shift slightly in her BRAIN?! I'm going to stop, I'm freaking myself out.

Re:Terrifying. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35611790)

The brain does not have touch or pain receptors. So, no.

Re:Terrifying. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35612220)

Actually, those same researchers at Brown University are working on developing a wireless interface [brown.edu] for just such a system.

Re:Terrifying. (2)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 3 years ago | (#35612224)

If you think that's terrifying, think about being trapped in your body without being able itch, wipe, or feed yourself.
Yeah, it's probably not the most comfortable, but it's a step up. Kinda like giving a lame person the ability to run again, but only in high heels. You work with what you've got.

Re:Terrifying. (2)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 3 years ago | (#35612362)

Actually, if my understanding of physiology is correct, the brain itself does not have pain receptors. So, while she should be able to feel it on her scalp, she would not be able to feel it moving around inside her head.

Re:Terrifying. (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#35613084)

Looking at the picture, it looks like that poor S3 has a massive SCSI cable connected to her head. It looks really awkward and uncomfortable. They couldn't use USB? Or Bluetooth?

If you wiggle the cable... can she feel the implant shift slightly in her BRAIN?!

I'm going to stop, I'm freaking myself out.

How about an arm interface?

world+dog dropping fake math & science? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35611762)

like the plague? cancer? wmd? eugenics? all negative life scenarios. all artificially induced. fake body counts. fake money. fake weather. fake/fatal religions/gods (our worst 'accomplishment'?).

the truth will never go away. it 'fights' to be known. disarm. gather. carry on as it was originally intended for us, & we know what that is. too simple?

brains? seems like more of a problem for us than we really have/need, at least until they work better, after the royalty/chosen one based 'fog' is lifted, as is happening almost everywhere already today, except here?

Re:world+dog dropping fake math & science? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35622410)

What the hell are you talking about? Timecube much?

Screw aimbot (1)

j-turkey (187775) | more than 3 years ago | (#35611844)

Sign me up. I will pwn you all at CS!

Loopback brain interface? (1)

i20AuLion (1638715) | more than 3 years ago | (#35612196)

Could it be possible to insert somekind of electrode in the emtions center of the brain then another one to stimulate it? Someone could then learn to read emotional state and control it. No more irrational phobias or anxieties. You could stay calm and coherant in the worst situation. It could be the ultimate tool to control or emotional and mental health problems. It could be the perfect biofeedback tool to behavioral therapie. Oh my! So much potential! You could control a virtual emotional arm that could touch one own emotional state.

Re:Loopback brain interface? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35614674)

Well Sybok, That sounds a lot like the Sons Of the Patriots system. It's great until the system doesn't work anymore and all the suppressed guilt, doubt, fear, and rage comes back home to roost.

AHA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35612594)

So, she was that Aimbot that I encountered...

brain activity (1)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 3 years ago | (#35613538)

Big Deal, the government's intelligence flat-lined back in 1913, and still going strong?!

Let the market speak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35613890)

Why isn't Google/MS/Nintendo investing in this shit? Why are these efforts put towards people with paralysis when it could easily be applied to every consumer out there?

That's some shortsightedness right there.

Re:Let the market speak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35622468)

One day and 74 comments later and no one's referenced Back to the Future. What is this site turning into?

Marty McFly: [showing the two boys how to play the shoot 'em up video game] I'll show you, kid. I'm a crack shot at this.
[shoots a perfect score with the electronic gun]
Video Game Boy #1: You mean you have to use your hands?
Video Game Boy #2: That's like a baby's toy!

ClimateGate reboot? (1)

cheesecake23 (1110663) | more than 3 years ago | (#35616298)

"Remember BrainGate?"

Are the climate skeptics now denying that they have brains?

They should have used KDE (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35640266)

"Some on-screen targets were as small as the effective area of a Microsoft Word menu icon."

They should have used KDE. It is vectorized and can be scaled efficiently. :|

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