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Metal Science

Paralyzed Man Uses Brain Implant To Request Someone Play Him TOOL

He also used the implant to tell his son he loves him.

tool 2019
Photo by Travis Shinn

A paralyzed 36-year old man suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) used his brain implant to request someone play him Tool.

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In an article published by Science, a research team at the University of Tübingen implanted two square electrode arrays into the part of the patient's brain that controls movement. The patient used the implants to communicate with the team via certain pitches that indicate "yes" and "no" to groups of letters, and then individual letters. According to the article, the patient formed dozens of sentences over the course of one year, including "Goulash soup and sweet pea soup," "I would like to listen to the album by Tool loud," and "I love my cool son."

The article points out that the patient modulated the tone from the implants by trying to move his eyes. The method of communication worked with 80% accuracy on 107 of 135 days, and only on 44 of the 107 days did he produce an intelligible sentence. The patient continues to communicate with researchers to this day, though "his ability to spell has decreased, and he now mostly answers yes-or-no questions."

Check out the full article here.

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