Eric Leuthardt, a professional surgeon believes that soon doctors will be able to insert electrodes into human brains to facilitate its direct conversation with computers. The 44-year-old scientist and brain surgeon is working as a neurosurgeon at Washington University in the United States. He has two published novels to his credit alongside a famous play focusing on the society’s metamorphosis.
In his recent play REDDEVIL, around 90% of people will undergo hardware implant into their brains to facilitate a seamless connectivity between humans and robots (computers). It will become successful after experiencing a lot of sensory experiences. He openly confessed that he cut people open for experiments and surgeries or treatment. It’s not that much difficult for him.
He believes by the next 10 to 20 years, humans brains will be able to work seamlessly with computers through internal wifi system. Last year, Elon Musk launched Neuralink and SpaceX aiming to create equipment for mind-machine synchronization. Leuthardt is also exploring similar opportunities within his capacity as a brain surgeon.
However, these research studies are only at their initial stage now. A lot of more experiments and studies are needed to accomplish the dream of connecting brain to computer via wifi. Facilitating communication process between machines to human brain is literally unimaginable but credit goes to scientists who are working round the clock on this particular subject. Leuthardt believes that 20-year time frame is enough to bring imagination into reality.
The debate and practical scientific experiment on brain-computer interfaces began in 1980, when an engineer Georgopoulos of Johns Hopkins, largely stressed upon this sensitive topic. He observed neurons in the higher-level processing areas of the motor cortex that fired prior to specific kinds of movement—such as a flick of the wrist to the right, or a downward thrust with the arm.
Eric Leuthardt has found considerable skeptics too. They feel that electrodes would yield enough information to control a prosthetic. For further research, Leuthardt found that his patients demonstrated capacity to moving a virtual spaceship right and left by thinking. Currently, Leuthardt is conducting his study and research on 12 bedridden epilepsy patients at a hospital in the US. He guided these patients to speak loudly the words like bet, bat, beat and etc visually on computer screen for seamless identification of incoming sensory signals in the brain.
The software used for this project works on patter recognition algorithms. One electrode produces around 1000 readings each second. When smaller is the population of neurons in comparison to electrode, better will be the chance for detecting meaningful patterns. Leuthardt has also floated a company NeuroLutions to smoothen out his experiment on devices that link mind and machine and help people in the coming days.
It could be highly beneficial for stroke patients who can now communicate with the world using brain-computer connectivity link. The device basically consists of brain-monitoring electrodes that sit on the scalp and are attached to an arm orthosis. It can actually help a patient regain independent control over the limb, faster and in an efficacious manner. The device can be used sans any brain surgery. At present, around 700,000 stroke patients are in the US, such device could be of massive benefit to them.