Neuralink’s device has a chip that processes and transmits neural signals that could be transmitted to devices like a computer or a phone. The company hopes that a person would potentially be able to control a mouse, keyboard or other computer functions like text messaging with their thoughts.
A web of communication that allows you to move, think, feel and sense.
design a fully implantable, cosmetically invisible brain-computer interface to let you control a computer or mobile device anywhere you go.
Micron-scale threads would be inserted into areas of the brain that control movement. Each thread contains many electrodes and connects them to an implant called the “Link.”
Neurons send and receive information. Although neurons come in many different types, they generally have three parts: a dendrite which receives a signal, a cell body called a soma which computes the signal, and an axon which sends a signal out.
Through Synapses The neurons of your brain connect to each other to send and receive signals through axon-dendrite connections called synapses.
Through Electric Signals Action potentials cause synapses to release neurotransmitters. These small molecules bind to receptors on dendrites, opening channels that cause current to flow across the neuron’s membrane. When a neuron receives the ‘right’ combination of spatiotemporal synaptic input, it initiates an action potential.
Signals in the Brain we place electrodes near neurons in order to detect action potentials. Recording from many neurons allows us to decode the information represented by those cells. In the movement-related areas of the brain, for example, neurons represent intended movements. There are neurons in the brain that carry information about everything we see, feel, touch, or think.
Neural Implant And Electrode Array
LINK Sealed, implanted device that processes and transmits neural signals.
NEURAL THREADS Each small and flexible thread contains many electrodes for detecting neural signals.
CHARGER Compact inductive charger wirelessly connects to the implant to charge the battery from the outside.
Reconnecting thought to action
Processes visual information from our eyes.
Assists with the perception and interpretation of sound.
Helps process sense of touch.
Responsible for planning and executing voluntary movements.
What is Neuralink Developing ?
Founded in 2016 by Musk and a group of engineers, Neuralink is building a brain chip interface that can be implanted within the skull, which it says could eventually help disabled patients to move and communicate again, and also restore vision. Neuralink’s device has a chip that processes and transmits neural signals that could be transmitted to devices like a computer or a phone. The company hopes that a person would potentially be able to control a mouse, keyboard or other computer functions like text messaging with their thoughts. “First @Neuralink product will enable someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using thumbs,” Musk said in April 2021.
Neuralink also believes its device will eventually be able to restore neural activity inside the body, allowing those with spinal cord injuries to move limbs. The San Francisco and Austin-based company also aspires to cure neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Neuralink has produced several examples of testing aspects of its technology successfully on animals, including a video in 2021 that showed a macaque playing a simple videogame after being implanted with a brain chip. In a presentation webcast last week, the company showcased improvements in the speed and capabilities of the chip.
Elon Musk is known for his high-profile companies like Tesla and SpaceX, but the billionaire also has a handful of unusual ventures. He said he started one of them to achieve “symbiosis” between the human brain and artificial intelligence. Neuralink is Musk’s neural-interface-technology company. It’s developing a device that would be embedded in a person’s brain, where it would record brain activity and potentially stimulate it. Musk has compared the technology to a “FitBit in your skull.” Musk also had twins with Shivon Zilis, a top Neuralink executive, Insider was first to report. While Musk likes to talk up his futuristic vision for the technology, the tech has some potential nearterm medical applications. Musk founded Neuralink under the radar in 2016. Neuralink first became publicly known in 2017 when The Wall Street Journal reported on its existence. The company’s first major public outing didn’t come until 2019, when Musk and other members of the Neuralink executive team showed off their tech in a livestreamed presentation. Neuralink is developing two bits of equipment. The first is a chip that would be implanted in a person’s skull, with electrodes fanning out into their brain. The chip sits behind the ear, while electrodes thread into the brain. The chip Neuralink is developing is about the size of a coin and would be embedded in a person’s skull. From the chip, an array of tiny wires, each roughly 20 times thinner than a human hair, fan out into the patient’s brain. The wires are equipped with 1,024 electrodes, which are able to monitor brain activity and, theoretically, electrically stimulate the brain.
The chip transmits this data wirelessly via the chip to computers, where rearchers can study it. The second is a robot that could automatically implant the chip. Neuralink surgical robot. The robot would work by using a stiff needle to punch the flexible wires emanating from a Neuralink chip into a person’s brain, a bit like a sewing machine. Neuralink released a video showcasing the robot in January 2021.
Musk has claimed the machine could make implanting Neuralink’s electrodes as easy as LASIK eye surgery. While this is a bold claim, neuroscientists previously told Insider in 2019 that the machine has some very promising features.
Andrew Hires, a neurologist at the University of Southern California, highlighted a feature, which would automatically adjust the needle to compensate for the movement of a patient’s brain, as the brain moves during surgery along with a person’s breathing and heartbeat.
The robot as it currently stands is eight feet tall, and while Neuralink is developing its underlying technology its Woke Studios crafted its design. In 2020, Neuralink showed off one of its chips embedded in a pig named Gertrude. The Neuralink device in Gertrude’s brain transmitted live data during the demo as she snuffled around. The demonstration was proof of concept and showed how the chip was able to accurately predict the positioning of Gertrude’s limbs when she was walking on a treadmill, as well as recording neural activity when the pig snuffled about for food.
Musk said the pig had been living with the chip embedded in her skull for two months.
“In terms of their technology, 1,024 channels is not that impressive these days, but the electronics to relay them wirelessly is state-of-theart, and the robotic implantation is nice,” Andrew Jackson, an expert in neural interfaces at Newcastle University, said. “This is solid engineering, but mediocre neuroscience,” he said. Jackson told Insider following the 2020 presentation that the wireless relay from the Neuralink chip could potentially have a big impact on the welfare of animal test subjects in science, as most neural interfaces currently in use on test animals involve wires poking out through the skin. “Even if the technology doesn’t do anything more than we’re able to do at the moment — in terms of number of channels or whatever — just from a welfare aspect for the animals, I think if you can do experiments with something that doesn’t involve wires coming through the skin, that’s going to improve the welfare of animals,” he said. Neuralink went a step further with its animal demos in April 2021, when it showed off a monkey playing video games with its mind. Neuralink released video of a macaque monkey named Pager playing video games such as “Pong” for banana-smoothie rewards.
Pager played the games using a joystick that was disconnected from the games console, meaning he was controlling the cursor using his brain signals as his arm moved.