A quadriplegic in Massachusetts with a small sensor implanted in his brain has demonstrated ability to control a computer, a television set and a robot using only his thoughts. In a variety of experiments, Matthew Nagle moved a cursor, opened e-mail, played a simple video game called Pong and drew a crude circle on the screen. He could change the channel or volume on a television set, move a robot arm somewhat, and open and close a prosthetic hand. Although his cursor control was sometimes wobbly, the basic movements were not hard to learn.
A sensor measuring 4 millimeters by 4 millimeters — less than a fifth of an inch long and wide — and containing 100 tiny electrodes was implanted in the area of Mr. Nagle’s motor cortex responsible for arm movement and was connected to a pedestal that protruded from the top of his skull. Technicians plugged a cable connected to a computer into the pedestal, so Mr. Nagle was directly wired to a computer, Mr. Nagle would then imagine moving his arm to hit various targets. The implanted sensor eavesdropped on the electrical signals emitted by neurons in his motor cortex as they controlled the imaginary arm movement. In the future, scientists would like to develop an implant that would transmit signals wirelessly out of the brain, doing away with the permanent hole in the head and the accompanying risk of infection.
The implant system, known as the BrainGate, is being developed by Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems Inc. of Foxborough, Mass. The company is now testing the system in three other people, who remain anonymous: one with a spinal cord injury, one with Lou Gehrig’s disease and one who had a brain stem stroke.
The Shigley Law Firm represents plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases statewide in Georgia, and in other states subject to the multijurisdictional practice and pro hac vice rules in each state. Ken Shigley was designated as a "SuperLawyer" in Atlanta Magazine and one of the "Legal Elite" in Georgia Trend Magazine. He is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, Chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute and former chair of the Georgia Insurance Law Institute. He particularly focuses on cases arising from truck wrecks and accidents (tractor trailers truck wrecks, semi truck wrecks,18 wheeler truck wrecks, big rig truck wrecks, log truck wrecks, dump truck wrecks.