Neuralink: FDA approves Elon Musk’s plans to implant a computer in people’s brain
Apart from SpaceX, Twitter, and Tesla, billionaire Elon Musk is also known for another company he founded in 2016 with a team of seven scientists and engineers. It’s Neuralink, an American neurotechnology company known for its implantable brain-computer interfaces.
These BCIs could be used to improve human cognition, treat a number of different neurological disorders, and pave the way for a new form of human-machine communication. It is cosmetically invisible and capable of changing lives for the better, Neuralink’s website shows.
The company took to Twitter on Friday to announce it has received the FDA’s approval to launch its first-in-human clinical study. While recruitment for the trial is not yet open, more information on the same would be announced soon, the statement added.
A Brief Idea On These Brain Computers
These BCIs are made up of a thin, flexible chip that gets implanted into the brain and is connected to a wireless transmitter that’s placed outside the skull. This small transmitter is responsible for sending and receiving signals between Neuralink’s chip and a computer.
The chip is composed of scores of tiny electrodes that can record as well as stimulate neural activity. This allows the brain-computer interface to track brain activity and send signals back to the brain to control a number of different functions, including movement and sensation.
The BCIs have already been tested in animals.
Neuralink shared a video in 2019 showing a monkey playing a video game with the help of its thoughts only. The primate had a chip implanted in its brain, successfully tracking its brain activity and controlling the movement of a cursor on the screen.
How Beneficial BCIs Could Be?
In addition to helping improve human cognition by enhancing attention, memory and learning, Neuralink’s BCIs could also be used to address different neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and spinal cord injuries.