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BrainGate is a brain implant system developed by the bio-tech company Cyberkinetics in

2003 in conjunction with the Department of Neuroscience atBrown University. The device
was designed to help those who have lost control of their limbs, or other bodily functions,
such as patients withamyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or spinal cord injury. The computer
chip, which is implanted into the brain, monitors brain activity in the patient and converts
the intention of the user into computer commands.

Currently the chip uses 96 hair-thin electrodes that sense the electro-magnetic signature
of neurons firing in specific areas of the brain, for example, the area that controls arm
movement. The activity is translated into electrically charged signals and are then sent and
decoded using a program, which can move a robotic arm, a computer cursor, or even a
wheelchair. According to the Cyberkinetics' website, three patients have been implanted
with the BrainGate system. The company has confirmed that one patient (Matt Nagle) has a
spinal cord injury, whilst another has advanced ALS.

In addition to real-time analysis of neuron patterns to relay movement, the Braingate array
is also capable of recording electrical data for later analysis. A potential use of this feature
would be for a neurologist to study seizure patterns in a patient with epilepsy.

In 2009, a monkey was using a device very similar to BrainGate to control a robotic arm.[1]

The concept of using thought to move a robotic device, a wheelchair, a prosthetic, or a computer was once strictly the stuff
of science fiction, but no longer. BrainGate™ collects and analyzes the brainwaves of individuals with pronounced physical
disabilities, turning thoughts into actions. The potential to better communicate, interact, and improve people’s way of life is
about to explode.

Years of advanced research by world-renowned experts at prestigious universities—including Brown, Harvard, Emory, MIT,
Columbia, and the University of Utah—has resulted in the development of BrainGate™, a life-changing technology and
device that gives renewed hope to paraplegics, quadriplegics and others suffering from spinal cord injuries and strokes.
Eventually, it has the potential to revolutionize the way all of our brains work.

BrainGate has been featured on broadcasts such as 60 Minutes and in publications including Popular Mechanics, Nature and
Wired.

People

BrainGate is a path to a better way of life for severely motor-impaired individuals. Through
years of advanced research, BrainGate enables these people with the ability to communicate,
interact and function through thought. (view video)
BrainGate's mission is to further the advancement of this life-changing technology to promote
wider adoption to help impaired individuals communicate and interact with society. For instance,
the Cyberkenetics BrainGate Neural Interface is currently the subject of a pilot clinical trial
being conducted under an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) from the FDA. The system is
designed to restore functionality for a limited, immobile group of severely motor-impaired
individuals. It is expected that people using the BrainGate System will employ a personal
computer as the gateway to a range of self-directed activities. These activities may extend
beyond typical computer functions (e.g., communication) to include the control of objects in the
environment such as a telephone, a television and lights.
BrainGate's mission is to further the advancement of
this life-changing technology to promote wider
adoption to help impaired individuals communicate
and interact with society. For instance, the
Cyberkenetics BrainGate Neural Interface is currently
the subject of a pilot clinical trial being conducted
under an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE)
from the FDA. The system is designed to restore
functionality for a limited, immobile group of severely
motor-impaired individuals. It is expected that people
using the BrainGate System will employ a personal
computer as the gateway to a range of self-directed
activities. These activities may extend beyond typical
computer functions (e.g., communication) to include
the control of objects in the environment such as a
telephone, a television and lights.
BrainGate is based on technology to sense, transmit, analyze and apply the language of neurons.
BrainGate consists of a sensor that is implanted on the motor cortex of the brain and a device that
analyzes brain signals. The principle of operation behind the BrainGate System is that with intact
brain function, brain signals are generated even though they are not sent to the arms, hands and
legs. The signals are interpreted and translated into cursor movements, offering the user an
alternate "BrainGate pathway" to control a computer with thought, just as individuals who have
the ability to move their hands use a mouse.

There is development underway on BrainGate to potentially provide limb movement to people


with severe motor disabilities. The goal of this development program would be to allow these
individuals to one day use their own arms and hands again. Limb movement developments are
currently at the research stage and are not available for use with the existing BrainGate System.
In addition, products are in development to allow for robotic control, such as a thought-
controlled wheelchair. In the future, the BrainGate System could be used by those individuals
whose injuries are less severe. Next generation products may be able to provide an individual
with the ability to control devices that allow breathing, bladder and bowel movements. Currently
The BrainGate Neural Interface System is an investigational device and is not approved for sale.
However it is available through a clinical study.

The BrainGate Neural Interface creates a direct link between a person's brain and a
computer, translating neural activity into action. Matthew Nagle, without use of his limbs
but fitted with a BrainGate, can now play a videogame or change channels on TV using only
his mind. Here's how it works. - Greta Lorge
1. The chip: A 4-millimeter square silicon chip studded with 100 hair-thin microelectrodes is
embedded in Nagle's primary motor cortex - the region of the brain responsible for controlling
movement.

2. The connector: When Nagle thinks "move cursor up and left" (toward email icon), his cortical
neurons fire in a distinctive pattern; the signal is transmitted through the pedestal plug attached to his
skull.

3. The converter: The signal travels to a shoebox-sized amplifier mounted on Nagle's wheelchair,
where it's converted to optical data and bounced by fiber-optic cable to a computer.

4. The computer: BrainGate learns to associate patterns of brain activity with particular imagined
movements - up, down, left, right - and to connect those movements to a cursor.

or my term paper, I researched on Cyber Terrorism. I believe that Cyber Terrorism is a big problem in our society and
may even be a worldwide problem for all humanity today. I want to do my term paper on Cyber Terrorism because I
had some personal experience with this sort of terrorism. About a two years ago, I encountered a Hacker on America
Online. I opened an unknown message in my mailbox that was titled "Free Nude Teens". Then about a couple weeks
later, we received all sorts of bills that had to be paid. My father received bills for many different things such as
electronics, clothes, and other items that had been purchased under our account on the Internet. My father was so
pissed off because he thought that my brothers or I had purchased all those items. So we called the Company and
found that our computer had been hacked into. And the so called hacker purchased items on our account number.
And we found that the hacker gained entry by a message that I had open!ed . So we ended up paying only a
thousand dollars out of almost six-thousand dollars worth of goods purchased on America Online. I want to do my
research paper on Cyber Terrorism because I want to stress to people that this is a big problem and will bec

Cyber Terrorism can come in the form of misinformation. Just that one sentence says a lot about how unstoppable
the force of Cyber Terrorism is. 1) All accounts should have passwords and the passwords should be unusual and
difficult to guess. But the proposal for a National Homeland Security Agency is sure to stir controversy, because it will
take resources away from some well-entrenched agencies. I fully agree that hacking is a criminal offense and should
be prosecuted. And Bush administration officials say they will look closely at the commission's recommendations. But
the deputy national security adviser, said agencies simply need better cooperation in the fight against terrorism, no
another new agency. It still is an important stride in the fight against hackers. Although, if hacking is done, and a
hacker is caught, the consequences are sometimes not that wonderful. There is a number of things that our country is
realizing about Cyber terrorism. They even have chat rooms for hackers to share their hacking knowledge with each
other. It is hard for even the best of hackers to break into a computer due to the strict security and punishment. 3)
Check with venders for upgrades and patches.

The Internet is, literally, a network of networks. It is made of thousands of interconnected networks spanning the
globe. The computers that form the Internet range from huge mainframes in research establishments to humble PCs
in people's homes and offices. Despite the recent publicity, the Internet is not a new thing. Its roots lie in a collection
of computers that were linked together in the 1970s to form the US Department of Defense's communications
systems. Fearing the consequences of nuclear attack, there was no central computer holding vast amounts of data,
but instead the information was dispersed across thousands of machines. A protocol known as TCP/IP was
developed to allow different devices to work together. The original network has long since been upgraded and
expanded and TCP/IP is now an overall standard. The Internet has gone on now to fulfill a great deal more than it's
intended purpose and has definitely brought more good than bad. Millions of people worldwide are using the Internet
to share information, make new associations and communicate. Individuals and businesses, from students and
journalists, to consultants, programmers and corporate giants are all harnessing the power of the Internet. For many
busin

It is called cyber-terrorism and research groups within the CIA and FBI say cyber-warfare has become one of the
main threats to global security. Being online takes up time, and it may be taking time away from sleep, social contact
or even eating. Using the mouse on your computer, the familiar point-and-click functionality gives you access to
electronic mail for sending and receiving data, and file transfer for copying files from one computer to another. Online
education introduces unprecedented options for teaching, learning, and knowledge building. Today the Internet is a
highly effective tool for communicating, for gathering information and for cooperation between distant locations.
Hackers are persons that have tremendous knowledge on the subject and use it to steal, cheat, or misuse
confidential or classified information for the sake of fun or profit. That will have several good effects, including a way
to pay authors for their work. Internet addicts are people who are reported staying online for six, eight, ten or more
hours a day, every day. People of like minds and interests can share information with one another through electronic
mail and chat rooms. She takes it so seriously, in fact, that she founded the Center for Online Addiction, an
organization that provides consultation for educational institutions, mental health clinics and corporations dealing with
Internet misuse problems.

The Nature report describes the first participant in these trials, a 25-year-old man who had sustained
a spinal cord injury leading to paralysis in all four limbs three years prior to the study. Over a period of
nine months, he took part in 57 sessions during which the implanted BrainGate sensor recorded
activity in his motor cortex while he imagined moving his paralyzed limbs and then used that imagined
motion for several computer-based tasks. Among his accomplishments – completed with little or no
learning time – was moving a computer cursor to open simulated e-mail, draw circular shapes and
play simple video games. He also was able to open and close a prosthetic hand and use a robotic limb
to grasp and move objects.
"This system is giving us, for the first time, the ability to look at and listen to firing patterns of
ensembles of individual neurons in the human brain for extended periods of time. We hope the
knowledge gained from this work will allow the development of systems that provide improved
communication and environmental control for people with paralysis and someday, when combined with
neuromuscular stimulators, restore control over their limbs," says Hochberg, an instructor in
Neurology at Harvard Medical School and an investigator in neuroscience at Brown. He and his co-
authors also note that the system requires significant improvement in reliability and control and that
further research is needed before it will be useful outside a research setting.

It will now be possible for a patient with spinal cord injury to produce brain signals that relay the
intention of moving the paralyzed limbs , as signals to an implanted sensor, which is then output as
electronic impulses. These impulses enable the user to operate mechanical devices with the help of
a computer cursor.

A report appearing in the July 13 issue of Nature includes the first published findings from an
ongoingclinical trial of the Brain Gate Neural InterfaceSystem, a brain-computer interface device in the
early stages of clinical testing at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Spaulding Rehabilitation
Hospital and other institutions across the country.

"The broad question we are addressing is whether it's possible for someone with paralysis to use the
activity of the motor cortex [the part of the brain responsible for motion] to control an external
device," says Leigh Hochberg, MD, PhD, a neurologist at MGH, Spaulding and Brigham and Women's
Hospital and lead author of the Nature paper. "There has been a question of how the function of the
cortex might change after it was disconnected from the rest of the body by damage to the spinal cord.
We're finding that, even years after spinal cord injury, the same signals that originally controlled a
limb are available and can be utilized."

Manufactured by Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems, Inc., of Foxborough, Mass., the BrainGate


System consists of an internal sensor to detect brain cell activity and external processors that convert
brain impulses into computerized signals. Two clinical trials are currently underway to evaluate the
system's safety and feasibility for detecting and translating brain activity from patients with paralysis
resulting from spinal cord injury, brain stem stroke or muscular dystrophy and patients with
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease). John Donoghue, PhD, a neuroscience
professor and director of the Brain Science Program at Brown University and the senior author of the
Nature paper, is a co-founder of Cyberkinetics.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Braingate Neural Interface Developing Into Wireless Version
Filed under: Neurological Surgery , Neurology

The Braingate project has begun recruiting participants to assess the new wireless version of the
brain-computer interface. Dubbed as Braingate2, the new system is meant to be completely
implantable, receiving power and maintaining communications via a wireless connection. Power
and control of the device is delivered via RF, while the signal from the brain interface comes back
via an infrared laser shining through the skull.
More from Singularity Hub...
Medgadget's archives of Braingate coverage...
Link: Braingate2 project page...

FEB 12 2009

FROM THOUGHT TO ACTION


Is Braingate going to end paralysis?

by melanie chow
ILLUSTRATION BY DREW FOSTER

In Julian Schnabel’s 2007 film The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Jean-Dominique Bauby, a man unable to move any
part of his body except his left eye, says: “Two things aren’t paralyzed: my imagination and my memory. I can imagine
anything, anybody, anywhere.” The movie is based on the true story of Jean-Dominique, the former editor of Elle
France, who suffered a stroke and developed locked-in syndrome, a condition caused by damage to the brainstem
that prevents a patient from moving all voluntary muscles, including those needed for verbal communication. Locked-
in syndrome does not affect the brain or intelligence, but it essentially ‘locks’ a patient into an immobile body. Despite
the seeming impossibility of his condition, Jean-Dominique learned to communicate by blinking his eye. In this
system of communication, he blinked once to answer “yes” and twice for “no,” and when an alphabet was read aloud
to him, he blinked to indicate which letter he wanted to use.

But what if there were a way Jean-Dominique could move again–a device he could use to transform his thoughts into
actions? A Brown University neuroscience research laboratory may have the answer.
Hope is the Thing with Microchips
The BrainGate project is currently one of the most promising projects in the field of neuroscience, and is managed by
a team of Brown researchers that includes Professor John Donoghue, the chair of the Department of Neuroscience
and Professor Leigh Hochberg of the Engineering Department. The BrainGate Neural Interface System project is
working on a Brain Computer Interface (BCI), a technology that establishes a direct communication pathway between
an implanted sensor chip in the brain and an external device. The chip is embedded in the brain to read neurons and
translate their signals into movements so that patients can perform tasks using a computer or other devices such as a
wheelchair.
Paralysis can result from anything from a stroke to a car accident. As of now, doctors can do little to restore
movement. The BrainGate chip, however, offers hope. It functions mainly to restore a connection between thoughts
and actual movements, whether through a patient’s own limbs or through a computer. In other words, the chip acts as
a surrogate to the damaged nervous system, converting cellular signaling into movement. Professor Leigh Hochberg
told the Independent that the project is founded on the idea that “those signals, despite paralysis, are still trying to talk
to limbs” and initiate an action.

In 2002, Donoghue published findings from a study in which a prototype sensor in a monkey’s brain allowed the
monkey to play pinball remotely, without the physical movement of the monkey’s arms or hands. Over the past seven
years, Hochberg has worked with Donoghue as this research has progressed.
Currently in the clinical trial stage, the project is making a lot of headway. Patients in the trials have had a silicon chip
the size of a baby aspirin implanted onto their motor cortexes, the portion of the brain’s surface area responsible for
movement. The brain’s cortex has different specialized regions, and the neurons in the motor cortex are especially
useful for fine hand and finger control. In normal brains, the intention to move a limb is sent as an electric impulse
through the brain’s cortex, through the spinal cord and finally to the muscle responsible for movement. Patients who
are paralyzed have a disconnect in their nervous system, usually between the brain and spinal cord, causing their
signals to be cut off before physical movement occurs.
In order to reconnect the brain to a person’s limbs, the BrainGate sensor reads and records the electric signals that
go off in someone’s brain when he or she attempts to move. It then translates and “decodes that activity in real time
towards [movement of] a cursor on a computer screen,” said Professor Hochberg of one trial.
One of BrainGate’s successes was featured on 60 Minutes this past November. Cathy, a woman who has been
paralyzed for over nine years, had the BrainGate system implanted onto her brain. 60 Minutes showed a clip where
Cathy was able to perform everyday activities by ‘thinking’ the steps necessary to execute them. Her thoughts were
converted to the movements of a cursor on a computer, so that she could type, play music, read email and even turn
lights on and off.
From Email to Marathons
Professor Hochberg told the Independent that their current research focuses on ways to make the BrainGate sensor
completely wireless (it currently needs to be hardwired to a computer), “just like a cardiac pacemaker.” Even though
BrainGate’s novel system will improve the lives of many patients with paralysis, the need to be physically attached to
an external device can be cumbersome at best and impractical in the long run. A wireless sensor would, ideally, be
implanted into the brain and connected to another electrode sensor right under the clavicle. That sensor would then
transmit the neuronal signals to a receiver stuck to the skin or other external device via infrared or radio waves.
Professor Hochberg envisions that this wireless BrainGate system would “restore independence as much as
possible,” and have only minor restrictions, like passing through metal detectors.
Another goal for the project is to further develop the BCI so that the sensor can manipulate not only the movement of
an external computer or device, but also one’s own paralyzed or nonfunctional limbs. The research being done at
Brown brings novel information into the field of neuroscience: “This is the first time that anybody has been able to
record from dozens and dozens of cells in the human brain for months on hand,” Professor Hochberg said. Hochberg
hopes that the BrainGate research will soon help to “reestablish the connection between the brain and the arm” or
other limbs. BrainGate would work to enhance a current medical technology called Functional Electrical Stimulation
(FES), which can be used to activate the nerves that supply paralyzed extremities with brain signals.
With current technologies, patients using FES have electrodes placed under their skin that detect the brain’s neuronal
signals and then transmit them through nerves that cause an arm or leg to move, allowing someone with a cervical
spinal cord injury to move again. FES has worked for some, and though “these FES techniques are good, what’s
desperately needed is a better controller,” says Professor Hochberg. In other words, instead of having to go through
the electrode (a stimulator that requires extra intermediary signals from neurons) the new BrainGate technology
would bypass this extra step by reading the signal immediately from the brain and then sending it directly to the FES
stimulator, without the need for an electrode.
Finally, the future of BrainGate may also lead to a way to prevent seizures in patients who have epilepsy, which is
caused by rapid misfiring of neurons in the brain at the wrong time. Though the reasons for this signaling irregularity
have yet to be completely understood, the extensive observations of neuronal activity gained during the course of the
BrainGate project may lead to a better understanding of these irregularities.
Professor Hochberg stresses that the BrainGate project is founded on the idea of “the importance of basic,
fundamental research and how we can translate that basic research to helping patients with paralysis or limb loss.”
Research has come a long way since 1995, the year that Jean-Dominique Bauby’s stroke caused him to become fully
paralyzed with locked-in syndrome. Fourteen years ago, the prospect of restoring movement to those who are
paralyzed may have seemed like futuristic fantasy. Today, Brown’s team of researchers is well on its way to making it
possible.

Sensors
Multiple neuroengineering challenges exist today in creating practical,
chronic, multichannel neural recording systems for research and for human
clinical neural interface application. Specifically:
• persistent wired connections between user and recording system limit the
mobility of both
• the transfer of high bandwidth signals to external (even distant) electronics
normally requires premature data reduction (i.e, data loss, making potentially
helpful signals unavailable for subsequent analysis or use)
• risk of infection due to a percutaneous connector component
Our group is developing an approach to overcome these limitations via an
entirely implantable, wirelessly powered and communicating, integrated
neural recording microsystem.
Braingate2.org
Multiple neuroengineering challenges exist today in creating practical,
chronic, multichannel neural recording systems for research and for human
clinical neural interface application. Specifically:
• persistent wired connections between user and recording system limit the
mobility of both
• the transfer of high bandwidth signals to external (even distant) electronics
normally requires premature data reduction (i.e, data loss, making potentially
helpful signals unavailable for subsequent analysis or use)
• risk of infection due to a percutaneous connector component
Our group is developing an approach to overcome these limitations via an
entirely implantable, wirelessly powered and communicating, integrated
neural recording microsystem.
Braingate2.org