Paralyzed non-verbal Patient is now Speaking by Thinking of Words..

“Speaking of” new developments to improve the quality of life for people..  Dr Edward Chang specializes in brain mapping, and in this case he has worked with a patient who lost his ability to speak 15 years ago after a debilitating stroke. For the first time, he has been able to successfully translate signals from his brain activity to be decoded through the vocal tract directly into full words.

He gives a brilliant speech with visuals in explaining his work here with an approximately 11 minute video:

Brain Implant Success

A state-of-the-art brain-computer interface has allowed a paralyzed patient to communicate simply by thinking of words, according to a new study. Scientists say it is the first successful decoding of full words via electrical brain signals. Previous work on similar neuroprosthetics had focused on translating individual letters.

The patient lost their ability to speak after a debilitating stroke 15 years ago that severely damaged the connection between their brain and the vocal tract and limbs. The experimental approach surgically implanted a small array of electrodes to the region of the brain responsible for communicating with the vocal tract. Electrical signals were then studied across 50 sessions as the patient imagined speaking different words aloud, translating the signals into text on a screen.

The breakthrough had limitations—the system was only about 75% accurate on average, and the patient’s vocabulary is thus far limited to about 50 words. Watch a video breakdown of the approach here.