Elon Musk-founded Neuralink seeks participants for brain-implant trial: All you need to know
The study has been named ‘PRIME’ or ‘Precise Robotically Implanted Brain-Computer Interface.’
Neuralink, a neurotechnology company founded by Elon Musk and seven scientists and engineers, has opened recruitment process seeking participants for its first brain-implant trial on humans.
In May, the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) gave permission to the company for the trial. The Fremont, California-based Neuralink was launched in 2016.
Who all are eligible?
Those with quadriplegia due to a cervical spinal cord injury may qualify; persons with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) are eligible too.
In a statement on its website, the firm noted that the study has been named ‘PRIME’ (Precise Robotically Implanted Brain-Computer Interface). The exercise is a ‘groundbreaking medical device trial for our fully-implementable, wireless brain-computer interface (BCI),’ it added.
It aims to evaluate the safety of Neuralink's N1 implant and R1 surgical robot, and assess the initial functionality of the BCI to enable people with paralysis to use their thoughts to control external devices.
According to Musk, meanwhile, the long-term goal is to ‘improve human-to-AI, and human-to-human bandwidth by several orders of magnitude.’
What will happen during the study?
The R1 (robot) will surgically place the N1 (implant) in a region of the brain that controls movement-related thoughts. Cosmetically invisible, the N1 will record and transmit brain signals wirelessly to an app tracking movement intention.
The initial goal is to make people control a computer cursor, or keyboard, with their thoughts alone.
When will the study commence?
A specific date or timeframe is yet to be notified.