Elon Musk led Neuralink in a new video has demonstrated a monkey (macaque rhesus) named Pager playing video games just using his mind.
The company also posted a video of the same:
In August 2020, Musk demonstrated the Link-tech relaying real-time data wirelessly, placed in a pig named Gertrude's snout.
The electrodes developed in 2019 were placed in a part of the brain involved in processing signals from the pig's exquisitely sensitive snout. As Gertrude explored the smells, the responses of neurons were observed in real-time.
Neuralink chose rhesus Pager to enable the development of a hand and arm-based motor cortical BMI.
Pager interacted with the computer screen with neural activity using a 1,024 electrode fully-implanted neural recording and data transmission device, termed the N1 Link.
The Link was implanted in the motor cortex's hand and arm areas, bilaterally: one in the left and another in the right motor cortex. The motor cortex is the part of the brain that is involved in planning and executing movements.
Neurons in the motor cortex modulate their activity before and during movement. Neuralink modelled the relationship between different patterns of neural activity and intended movement directions to calibrate a decoder to predict the direction and speed of an upcoming or intended movement.
Further, the predictions can be used to control, in real-time, the movements of a computer cursor, as can be seen when Pager plays 'MindPong'.
Many neurons in the motor cortex are tuned directionally, and earlier research by the BrainGate consortium have shown that neurons in the motor cortex remain directionally tuned to movement intention even in people with paralysis.
Neuralink has further added that the N1 Link is an initial demonstration of the potential capabilities of the N1 Link; their ultimate goal is to enable people with paralysis to directly use their neural activity to operate digital devices with speed and ease.
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