Monday, March 28, 2011

Brain Implant

I snaffled this one from Io9. The woman is controlling a cursor with her mind so how long before the link between mind and computer is much closer than that? I'd like my aug in a nice brassy metal, with an Egyptian cartouch inset, but I'll forgo the cobra eye-irrigator for now.


Helen Thomson - New Scientist — A paralysed woman was still able to control a computer cursor with her thoughts 1000 days after having a tiny electronic device implanted in her brain, say researchers who devised the system. The achievement demonstrates the longevity of brain-machine implants.

9 comments:

Jebel Krong said...

next step: gridlinked and all the porn i want straight into my brain! i mean, er, all the valuable information i need, straight into my brain. yes. 0.o

eddlemsg said...

Interesting read, last week I found an article on Wired about an actual melding of nerve fibers and silicon. It seems that nerve fibers like micro tubules inside of a silicon substrate and will find their own pathways through to make connections. We might be closer than we think to a mind computer interface!
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/03/nerve-cell-chip/

Neal Asher said...

Jebel, remind me not to stand too close to you if you're using your aug on the tube.

eddlemsg, and your comment reminds me of a short story I did in which a broken spinal cord was repaired with something very much like what you've just described. I wonder if something like this might work between the severed ends...

eddlemsg said...

Neal, I think that is the exact hope, spinal cord repair and interfacing artificial limbs directly to nerve ends for full sensory control of them. There are also a large population of people who suffer from "dead limbs" arms or legs that are perfectly healthy other than for a loss of the connection to their nervous system.
I certainly hope that this actually develops into something that can help people recover from catestrophic injury a side benefit would might be Jebel's virtual reality porn interface! lol
Stephen

Ryan said...

One of my most favourite scenes in all the sci-fi i've read is when Moria is using her aug for the first time(s) in Prador Moon. Augs are definitely near the top of my wishlist for this century!

This implant in newscientist is great but it showed a drop in efficiency over the years. It will probably take decades more to develop reliable implants capable of reading the brain (and decades more to download information the other way). Then we will have to wait years for anything to get regulatory approval, such a device would have to get approval as a medical device. Then we will have to wait to get one that can be inserted through microneedles rather than open brain surgery. THEN we will have to wait for the ill-informed public debate to end! Still can't wait though :D

Neal Asher said...

Stephen, I certainly hope they succeed with this, and I also think it's great that they're effectively in a race with those playing about with stem cells. Someone will get there, and within my lifetime I reckon.

Ryan, I shouldn't worry too much about the regulatory stuff. All you need to do is go and find someone like Sylac...

Ryan said...

Lol, I'm not too worried about the science or the regulation. Sure it's a long way off (how to make something that cells react to only in ways we want to, make it last, make it repair itself, make it capable of safely removing itself etc) but we'll get there, regulation will come in dribs and drabs as needed.

As for the 'race' between regenerative medicine and prosthetics i'd rather have RM. That's not to say i wouldnt love to see things like this return walking to the disabled but its always better to restore the original biology to the region.

Mr. Maigo said...

I think I could stand being paralyzed if I still had internet.

Nuno said...

I would pay Sylac for that aug. A lot of money.