The Sentinel

The Student News Site of Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School

The Sentinel

The Sentinel

If Thoughts Could Talk!

Well thanks to an elaborate team at Duke University, it’s possible!
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Have you ever been stuck in a situation where you had the perfect explanation, but you couldn’t figure out what words to say? Or you have felt an emotion so deep, that you just couldn’t express it in words?

Well fortunately for you, that might not be a problem anymore!

Thanks to an amazing team composed of neuroscientists, neurosurgeons, and engineers at Duke University, they have come together to develop a brain implant that can translate a brain signal directly into words. In other words, your thoughts are expressed out loud!

This groundbreaking advancement can not only help you express what you want to say or feel, but this product will one day be able to help millions of people who are unable to speak due to neurological disorders. There will no longer be a need for these impaired individuals to rely on devices that use their eyes or the minimal movement they have to communicate!

What does it look like?

(Photo by Dan Vahaba/Duke University)

Initially, to have thoughts expressed, a paper-thin piece of material fused with brain activity sensors would be laid atop the surface of the brain.

However, because there is a limit on how many sensors they’re able to accommodate on this material, Gregory Cogan, one of the lead researchers in the project says, “The current tools available to allow them to communicate are generally very slow and cumbersome.”

The plan does not stop there though! In further research and collaboration, Cogan worked with Jonathan Viventi who has a lab specializing in making the brain sensors necessary to improve this product. With Viventi’s team, they were able to put a ground-breaking 256 microscopic brain sensors onto a small piece of flexible, medical-grade plastic.

Though there is still room for improvement, this brain implant is a great step in aiding those who are neurologically impaired or paralyzed!

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About the Contributor
Edith Felipe, Columnist/Editor
Edith Felipe is a junior at Msgr. McClancy and this is her second year contributing to the school newspaper. She hopes to encourage creativity throughout the school and that everyone let their inner artists out. In her free time, she enjoys practicing her guitar and hanging out with friends. She is also part of student council, the tyros drama club, and art club.  

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