An epileptic patient's brain is superimposed with the locations of two kinds of electrodes: conventional ECoG electrodes (yellow), and two grids (red) of 16 experimental microECoG electrodes used to read speech signals from the brain (Image: Kai Miller, University of Washington)
An array of 16 microelectrodes â€“ known as a microECoG grid â€“ is arranged in a four-by-four array (Image: Spencer Kellis, The University of Utah)
Larger, numbered button-like electrodes (ECoGs) alongside the microECoGs indicated by the 4x4 circle grid at the end of the green and orange wires on the brain of a volunteer patient (Image: University of Utah Department of Neurosurgery)
Using the same technology that allowed them to accurately detect the brain signals controlling arm movements that we looked at last year, researchers at the University of Utah have gone one step further, translating brain signals into words. While the previous breakthrough was an important step towards giving amputees or people with severe paralysis a high level of control over a prosthetic limb or computer interface, this new development marks an early step toward letting severely paralyzed people speak with their thoughts.
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