Thursday, November 30, 2017
Dr. Leuthardt, a scientist and brain surgeon, believes in a future where brain implants are a commonality allowing a seamless connection between people and computers. About 15 years ago, he had an epiphany of recruiting patients with intractable epilepsy as experimental subjects. He started designing tasks for them to do and to help us learn how the brain encodes our thoughts and intentions. After recruiting Dr. Schalk in his endeavors, progress was swift. Notably, Dr. Schalk designed software to recognize the activation patterns of groups of neurons associated with a given task or though. Using this, Dr. Schalk and Dr. Leuthardt believe they have found the little voice that we hear in our mind when we imagine speaking and have assisted patients to regain fine motor control of their fingers after orthosis removal.