Paralyzed man speaks

July 15, 2021
Paralyzed man speaks

It’s exciting to think we’re at the very beginning of a new chapter, a new field.

Neurosurgeon Dr. Edward Chang on “a medical first” – helping a paralyzed man to “speak” again via brain waves.
  • "A medical first" (Associated Press).
  • Chang, University of California, San Francisco, and his team worked on "decoding brain waves" – think of it like reading someone's mind.
  • Electrodes placed on the brain's speech center pick up on the brain waves that connect to language production. As the person thinks of a word, their brain fires off instructions for certain muscles to move. Chang's computer translates these tiny signals into words.
  • The first participant: a man in his 30s who suffers from paralysis after a brain-stem stroke.
  • How it worked: Words appeared as text on a computer screen a few seconds after the man thought them.
  • Why This Matters: This cutting-edge technology is called "speech neuroprosthetic" – a new scientific field of work carrying great potential for people whose physical speech is inhibited.

Device taps brain waves to help paralyzed man communicate

by Jenna Lee,