Part IV: Prospects of brain-computer interface

The research team selected volunteers from paraplegic patients. Mr. Zhang was the principal of a high school before his retirement. He was well-educated and had a high demand for his own quality of life. Mr. ZHNAG and his family were very willing to give a shot at the brain-computer interface in the hope of helping him restore some basic limb movement function, improve his quality of life and promote his connection with the outside world. Then, the research team preformed the electrode implantation operation for MR. ZHANG.

“After participating in our research, Mr. ZHANG’s quality of life has improved and he is in better mood,” said ZHANG Jianmin. Before the operation, Mr. ZHANG had been bedridden due to his paraplegia for two years, feeling depressed. After participating in the research, he had many “small goals” every day. The medical staff applauded for every progress he made in the brain-computer interface training.

The well-being of patients is the starting point of clinical translation. It is because the elderly will be the target group for the future application of the brain-computer interface that the elderly patient who has greater difficulty in EEG signal acquisition and decoding was chosen as the subject in this research. “Most of the patients with stroke and paralysis caused by cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases are elderly people, so the application of the brain-computer interface in elderly patients is of paramount significance for future clinical treatment and rehabilitation,” ZHANG Jianmin said, “with the development of brain science, the clinical application of the brain-computer interface will be extended from the existing reconstruction of the motor function to more and more sophisticated functional reconstruction in language, perception and cognition.”

“There is considerable scope for further development in terms of the brain-computer interface. For example, Elon Musk is backing a brain-computer interface venture called Neuralink to develop a novel signal acquisition system which can implant ultra-thin polymer probe electrodes with a diameter of nearly 4 to 6 microns into the cerebral cortex in a fast and minimally invasive manner,” said WANG Yueming. If it can be used in the human brain, it will tremendously improve the quality and efficiency of EEG signal acquisition. In addition, the continuous innovation of computer science and technology will also bring in more new algorithms, which will help further promote the effective control of brain-computer interaction.

/Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.