In DepthNeuroscience

Brain signals ‘speak’ for person with paralysis

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Science  16 Jul 2021:
Vol. 373, Issue 6552, pp. 263
DOI: 10.1126/science.373.6552.263

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Summary

A man unable to speak after a stroke has produced sentences through a system that reads electrical signals from speech production areas of his brain, researchers report this week. The approach has previously been used in nondisabled volunteers to reconstruct spoken or imagined sentences, but this is the first demonstration of its potential in the type of patient it's intended to help. The participant had a stroke more than 10 years ago that left him with anarthria—an inability to control the muscles involved in speech. Researchers used a computational model known as a deep-learning algorithm to interpret patterns of brain activity in the sensorimotor cortex, a brain region involved in producing speech, and "decoded" sentences he attempted to read aloud.

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