Saturday, January 28, 2012

Thinking Makes it Go

Illustration by Leandro Castelao
Brains and machines have been flirting for decades, but at several centers around the country they are now getting married. Brain surgeon and neuroscientist Edward Chang is the focus of my story about the union, just out in San Francisco magazine. Chang and his colleagues at the UC Berkeley-UCSF Center for Neural Engineering and Prosthetics (CNEP) are developing brain-computer interfaces, including one that will read words from paralyzed patients' brains and give them voice through a prosthetic device.  Jan Rabaey is developing mirco-arrays that will read electrical signals from the cortex's surface and transmit signals through the skull to devices outside. Michel Maharbiz is even talking about "brain dust," networked wireless nanosensors, each the size of a dust mote, that could be distributed throughout the entire brain like artificial neurons and wirelessly communicate with computers in the outside world. “It’s still a vision for the future, but we think it could work,” he says.

1 comment:

MaoClare said...

Fascinating article, Gordy! I am reading more and more about BMI, brain-machine interface. The future is here!