Paralyzed Man Regains Ability To 'Speak' After Neuroprosthesis Taps His Brain Waves
The study was led by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and its results were recently published in the July 2021 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. The participant in the study was one who had suffered from a stroke over fifteen years ago and had lost the ability to speak. The participant, referred to primarily as “BRAVO1,” helped produce a list of fifty vocabulary words that were related to their everyday life. The researchers then “implanted a high-density electrode array over BRAVO1’s speech motor cortex.” BRAVO1 was asked over the course of several months to trying to prounounce the words from the aforementioned vocabulary list “while the electrodes recorded brain signals from his speech cortex.”
Future studies will need to include more participants to truly determine whether this approach is a viable option. However, the study gives hope to many. Thousands of people lose the ability to speak each year due to a variety of reasons ranging from strokes to accidents.