Synchron Inc. announced today the first successful clinical implantation of the Stentrode®, a minimally-invasive neural interface technology, a component of the Synchron Brain-Computer Interface. This is the first clinical feasibility trial evaluating this technology for its potential to restore communication in people with severe paralysis.
I’ve stopped watching CNN, because it has become as bad and radically polarized as FOX news is on the other side of the spectrum, so it was an external reference that sent me to the following CNN article by Dominic Rech:
So… now CNN is not only the mouthpiece for the far left, but like FOX News (which I consider a parody channel) has also turned into a pusher of ridiculous conspiracies.
Sure, neural implants can read specific motor patterns that, with exhaustive training of the subject, can be used as a brain-machine interface. However, that is an extremely far cry from being able to surreptitiously read someone’s mind or implant thoughts into people (AKA “synthetic telepathy”).
CNN’s Rech quotes a report by Dr. Tim Constandinou and his colleagues at the Next Generation Neural Interfaces (NGNI) Lab at Imperial College London. However, the report doesn’t imply anything of the sort of the sensationalistic title chosen by CNN.
Bottom line: NO, the Government and Private Companies will not be able to either read or place thoughts into your mind any time soon through brain implants!
Now, my main issue isn’t that CNN is using a ridiculous headline as click bait, but rather it is the fact that such reporting is irresponsible and outright dangerous.
Despite a clear notice that I won’t address such queries, I still receive copious amounts of e-mail messages from people who believe that they have been surreptitiously implanted with electronic devices to harass and spy on them. Mr. Rech’s article recklessly provides fuel for such psychotic thoughts, and legitimizes a conspiracy that discourages these people from receiving the psychiatric care they so critically require.
Shame on you Dominic Rech and CNN!
Synchron is a Silicon Valley company that spun out of the University of Melbourne, Australia in 2012. It was started by Thomas Oxley, MD, PhD to develop a new concept for a Brain-Computer Interface
Synchron’s Stentrode™ is an endovascular neural interface. It is essentially an electrode array shaped as an endovascular stent that can be implanted via the jugular vein and advanced into the brain to the motor cortex. Neural signals are detected by the electrodes on the Stentrode™ and sent to a processing and communications unit implanted subcutaneously in the chest, and then wirelessly to an external receiver. The idea is that the device can interpret signals from the brain for patients with paralysis to control a computer operating system and set of applications that interact with assistive technologies.
Synchron is currently preparing for pilot clinical trials of the Stentrode™ to evaluate the safety and efficacy of this breakthrough technology.
Synchron’s website is at: https://www.synchronmed.com
The Cleveland FES Center was established in 1991 as a consortium between the Cleveland VA Medical Center (CVAMC), the private educational institution of Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), and the public hospital system of MetroHealth Medical Center (MHMC).
As part of this consortium, Dr. Hunter Peckham – biomedical engineering professor at Case Western Reserve University – and his group have developed the Networked Neuroprosthetic System (NNPS), which is based on a network of small implanted modules they call “neuroprosthetic building blocks”. These modules are distributed throughout the body, and each is dedicated to a specific function. Modules are linked to a centralized power source via a network cable through which they also communicate with each other.
From Brown University’s press release:
“In a significant advance for brain-machine interfaces, engineers at Brown University have developed a novel wireless, broadband, rechargeable, fully implantable brain sensor that has performed well in animal models for more than a year. They describe the result in the Journal of Neural Engineering and at a conference this week.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — A team of neuroengineers based at Brown University has developed a fully implantable and rechargeable wireless brain sensor capable of relaying real-time broadband signals from up to 100 neurons in freely moving subjects. Several copies of the novel low-power device, described in the Journal of Neural Engineering, have been performing well in animal models for more than year, a first in the brain-computer interface field. Brain-computer interfaces could help people with severe paralysis control devices with their thoughts.