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Sponsor: Institute of Spinal Cord Injury, Iceland


The BrainGate device attempts to translate movement-related thoughts into environment-controlling actions in individuals with high-level injuries. About four millimeters in size (~ the size of a baby aspirin), the device’s sensor is composed of an array of hair-size electrodes and implanted in the brain area responsible for movement. This device transmits thought-stimulated, movement-associated neuronal signals through the skull to a computer for analysis and processing. This, in turn, is translated into user-controlled actions mediated through electronic devices, such as a computer cursor, a remote control, limb-controlling neural prostheses, etc. Although the overall concept of thought-controlled movement is not new, with ever-growing technical sophistication over time, the development of real-world applications is becoming an increasing reality.

The current version of the device is the subject of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) sponsored study, which intends to implant the sensor device into the motor cortex of 15 individuals with tetraplegia caused by a variety of neurological causes, including SCI.