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In A Breakthrough Study, A Single Brain Implant Has Enabled A Stroke Survivor To Communicate In Both Spanish, His Native Language, And English

Rido - stock.adobe.com - illustrative purposes only, not the actual people

The benefits of technology are truly incredible. Technology has enhanced our lives in so many different areas, from school, work, and the household. It has even led to miraculous scientific discoveries.

Technology can even give people the ability to regain speech. Scientists have made strides in the quality of brain implant devices.

In a study published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering, a single brain implant has allowed a paralyzed man to communicate in both his native language of Spanish and English—the latter he learned later in life.

The brain-computer interface could detect which language he was trying to speak without the need to program its settings in advance.

The 36-year-old participant had developed quadriplegia after having a stroke that affected part of his brainstem. He was diagnosed with anarthria, a motor speech disorder that causes a complete loss of speech.

People with anarthria still have cognitive capabilities, but they can’t physically speak because they can’t control the muscles that produce speech sounds.

The man only had a small amount of control of his vocal tract. He could make grunts and moaning sounds but could not form words. Before the brain implant, he had been “speaking” through an interface that allowed him to spell out words by making small movements of his head.

The implantation surgery occurred about three years ago. The device contained 128 electrodes and was attached to the left hemisphere of his brain. In his skull, a connector was embedded so the device was able to be hooked up to a computer system.

The implant works by translating neural activity that the vocal tract and facial muscles would ordinarily pick up on.

Rido – stock.adobe.com – illustrative purposes only, not the actual people

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