Reading the mind to move the body

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Science  22 May 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6237, pp. 860-861
DOI: 10.1126/science.aab3464

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Imagine a world in which your smartphone can read your mind. Just at the moment that you decide to move your finger to delete a message, it is already gone. This sounds like science fiction, but for one human in California, this fantasy is becoming reality. On page 906 of this issue, Aflalo et al. (1) report the case of a tetraplegic individual (called “EGS”) who volunteered to have his brain implanted with two small silicon chips that allow researchers to read his intentions directly from his brain activity. The chips—initially developed at the University of Utah (2) and now commercially available and approved for human use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration—consist of a matrix of 96 microscopic electrodes that can record the activity of about 100 nerve cells at the same time.