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|Resource List: 2006 Timeline: Advances in Brain <=> Machine Interfaces
|A chronicle of some of the major advances in direct brain connection to computer systems which were developed, or significantly refined during 2006.
Cyberkinetics Provides Update on BrainGate System Pilot Clincal Trials
A press release issued by CyberKinetic Incorporated, mid February 2006 provided an update on the two clinical trials of the BrainGate system on humans. The first trial was for those with quadriplegia due to spinal cord injury, stroke or muscular dystrophy; and the second was for those diagnosed with ALS or other motor neuron diseases.
Big Brain Thinking
Stanford neuroscientist Bill Newsome states intention to implant an electrode in his brain to better understand human consciousness. Newsome is obsessed with a lingering question: How does consciousness arise from brain function? He feels the best way to answer that question is by implanting an electrode into his own brain -- and seeing how the electric current changes his perception of the world.
In March 2006, the CeBIT consumer products show showcased the "mental typewriter," a brain to computer interface which translates thoughts into cursor movements on a computer screen. The Mental Typewriter is so far behind technologies like BrainGate, its almost laughable, but, it shows that non-invasive techniques, can work as well as the invasive BrainGate neuro-tranciever, if just a little slower ? about 10 min for a sentence.
US 'plans stealth shark spies'
In March 2006, a whacky plan of the Pentagon?s surfaced. Pentagon scientists are attempting to turn sharks into "stealth spies" capable of tracking vessels undetected. The plan is to remotely control the sharks by implanting electrodes in their brains.
Pentagon plans cyber-insect army
March 2006, head on the heels of the plan to turn sharks into cyborg spies, another serious plan of the US Military surfaces. This one looks to create an army of cyber-insects that can be remotely controlled to check out explosives and send transmissions. The idea is to insert micro-systems at the pupa stage, when the insects can integrate them into their body, so they can be remotely controlled later.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory comes up with a way to remotely control implanted components from outside the body.
Brain Cells Fused with Computer Chip
April 2006, and the first neuro-chips are developed, tying living brain cells and silicon circuits together in a single chip design.
Chip ramps up neuron-to-computer communication
A specialised chip that can communicate with thousands of neurons surfaced in April 2006, involving 16,384 transistors and hundreds of capacitors squeezed onto an experimental microchip just 1mm square.
Prototype Networking Chip uses Human Skin
The Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology discussed their prototype sub-dermal implanted chip in April 2006, which uses the body's own propensity to create electricity to power the transmission sequences between separate chips ? your skin becomes the network cable.
Molecular 'switch' connects biology to silicon
A molecular "switch" that can translate biological signals into electrical ones was developed by an international team from the UK, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic in April.
Wireless bionic arm would feel real
Work on artificial arms controlled by the human mind started to ramp up in early 2006, thanks to a helping financial hand from DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). DARPA announced in February that it would pour $55 million into a prosthetic arm research project to be led by Johns Hopkins University?s Applied Physics Laboratory. The work was spread among more than two dozen institutions.
Telescopic Eye Implant
An eye implant providing up to 3x optical magnification completed Phase II/III human trials in May 2006. The prosthetic telescope is implanted by an ophthalmic surgeon directly into the pupil of the eye. Nothing stands above the eye?s surface, so patients use natural eye movements to scan the environment.
Rat Brain Controls Fighter Jet
By May 2006, neuro-chip development had substantially improved. A computer constructed from a hybrid of silicon chips and a culture of living rat brain cells was trained to fly an F-22 fighter jet simulator by scientists from the University of Florida. The "brain", grown from 25,000 neural cells extracted from a single rat embryo, was suspended in a specialised liquid to keep it alive and then laid across a grid of 60 electrodes in a small glass dish.
Brain Waves Control Robot
late May 2006. Japanese automaker Honda used non-invasive brain monitoring to control how a robot moves, using technology similar to the mental typewriter showcased months earlier.
Brain-Computer Interfaces Continue to refine: Speech
June 2006, CyberKinetics incorporated announce the success of their various trials of the BrainGate system. Additionally, Neural Signals Inc announce real progress in their attempts to bypass the speech centres, allowing a true virtual voice.
Calculating the speed of sight
August 2006. US researchers calculate the speed of data transfer by the eyes to the brain, and clock it at about 8.75 megabits per second, per eye.
Neuron Forms Links With Silicon Nanowires
August 2006, and, in a solid step forwards for both neuro-chips and neuroprosthetics, individual silicon nanowires were connected directly to individual neurons, creating an artificial synapse connection similar to the links brain cells naturally form between each other. Previously, neuro-chips used bulky eloectrodes. Now,. for the first time, nerves were being hooked to connections in the same scale.
First woman fitted with bionic arm
September 2006. Ex-Marine Claudia Mitchell becomes t he first woman fitted with a truly bionic arm. Drawing on the plethora of BMI research over the past decade, the new arm bends and flexes, and responds to subconscious nerve impulses just like an organic arm.
Teenager moves video icons by imagination
October 2006. A U.S. boy has become the first teenager to play a two-dimensional video game using only the signals from his brain to make movements.
Piloting a wheelchair with the power of the mind
Cyberkinetics unveil their next refinement for the BrainGate: new filtering software capable of radically increasing the fidelity of control on a BrainGate system. They announce a new interface in partnership with Rolltalk, for precise brain signal controls through their technology. The new interface is to be tested in monkeys by the end of 2006.
October 2006. A new brain implant chip called Neurochip, the brainchild of by Andrew Jackson, Jaideep Mavoori and Eberhard Fetz research at the University of Washington is designed to rewire the brain's motor cortex.