Brain implant allows mute man to speak

By | November 25, 2008

bci-211108-3An electrode implanted into the brain of a man who is unable to move or communicate has enabled him to use a speech synthesizer to produce vowel sounds as he thinks them.

The work could one day help similar patients to produce whole sentences using signals from their brains, say the researchers.

Frank Guenther of Boston University in Massachusetts and his colleagues worked with a patient who has locked-in syndrome, a condition in which patients are almost completely paralysed — often able to move only their eyelids — but still fully conscious.

Guenther and his team first had to determine whether the man’s brain could produce the same speech signals as a healthy person’s. So they scanned his brain using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while he attempted to say certain vowels…. – nature

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