Brain computer chip allows paralyzed man to play Guitar Hero with his hands

An Ohio man paralyzed in an accident while diving in waves can now pick up a bottle or play the video game Guitar Hero thanks to a small computer chip in his brain that lets his mind guide his hands and fingers, bypassing his damaged spinal cord.

Scientists on Wednesday described accomplishments achieved by 24-year-old quadriplegic Ian Burkhart using an implanted chip that relays signals from his brain through 130 electrodes on his forearm to produce muscle movement in his hands and fingers.

Burkhart first demonstrated the "neural bypass" technology in 2014 when he was able simply to open and close his hand. But the scientists, in research published in the journal Nature, said he can now perform multiple useful tasks with more sophisticated hand and finger movements.

The technology, which for now can only be used in the laboratory, is being perfected with an eye toward a wireless system without the need for a cable running from the head to relay brain signals.

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