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Krishna Shenoy and Boris Murmann move toward wireless brain-computer interface

image of professors Shenoy and Murmann
August 2020

The current generation of neural implants record enormous amounts of neural activity, then transmit these brain signals through wires to a computer. But, so far, when researchers have tried to create wireless brain-computer interfaces to do this, it took so much power to transmit the data that the implants generated too much heat to be safe for the patient. A new study suggests how to solve his problem -- and thus cut the wires.

Research led by Professors Krishna Shenoy, Boris Murmann and Dr. Jaimie Henderson, have shown how it would be possible to create a wireless device, capable of gathering and transmitting accurate neural signals, but using a tenth of the power required by current wire-enabled systems. These wireless devices would look more natural than the wired models and give patients freer range of motion.

Graduate student Nir Even-Chen and postdoctoral fellow Dante Muratore, PhD, describe the team's approach in a Nature Biomedical Engineering paper.

The next step will be to build an implant based on this new approach and proceed through a series of tests toward the ultimate goal.

 

 

Excerpted from Science News, "How thoughts could one day control electronic prostheses, wirelessly", August 5, 2020.