New device reads fully paralyzed patients minds

 06 Feb 2017 - 11:04

New device reads fully paralyzed patients minds


Berlin: European scientists say they may have found a supremely futuristic, hi-tech answer to the horrible predicament of being "locked-in".

Researchers have tested with success a cutting edge brain-computer interface - a "mind-reading" device - that allows those suffering from "locked-in syndrome" to communicate in a binary, yes-or-no fashion. 

The brain-computer interface fits on a patient’s head like a swimming cap, measuring changes in electrical waves emanating from the brain and also blood flow using a technique called "near-infrared spectroscopy.

"Developed by neuroscientist Niels Birbaumer, now at the Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering in Geneva, the brain-computer interface technology could have far ranging implications for medical science as a whole. It has the potential to improve the lives of individuals who are inhibited by various ailments, from paralysis to mutism.

The next step is expanding the interface technology beyond simple binary responses, fleshing out the radical communication possibilities presented by this young technology.