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Elon Musk’s Neuralink Patient Wires Detach at 85%!

By Medina Syla


31 May 2024

Elon Musk Neuralink

©️ Kathy Hutchins / Vecteezy & Noland Arbaugh / X

Elon Musk’s Neuralink recently tested this chip on a volunteer named Noland. Noland couldn’t move his arms or legs because of an accident, but with the chip, things started looking up!

He could control a computer cursor with his mind, even playing games. It was like a whole new world opened up for him.

©️ Noland Arbaugh / X

But there was a snag in the plan. Remember those tiny wires connecting the chip to Noland’s brain? Well, most of them, like 85%, kind of came loose after a few weeks. It turns out Noland’s brain moved around more than the scientists expected, causing the wires to slip out.

The good news is, that the doctors were able to fix things without another surgery. They adjusted the chip to work with the fewer wires that were still in place. Noland can still control the computer, just in a slightly different way than before.

Elon Musk Neuralink
©️ GoFundMe

This whole experience is kind of like riding a bike for the first time. You might wobble a bit, maybe even fall a couple of times, but eventually, you get the hang of it. That’s what’s happening with Neuralink. Even though they hit a bump in the road, it helps them learn and improve the chip for the future.

Noland Arbaugh, paralyzed from the neck down after a swimming accident, became the first human to receive a Neuralink implant in January 2024. The implant, about the size of a few stacked quarters, houses microscopic threads embedded with electrodes. These electrodes capture electrical signals from neurons, allowing Arbaugh to control a computer cursor with his thoughts.

Elon Musk Neuralink
©️ Kathy Hutchins / Vecteezy & Noland Arbaugh / X

And the future looks bright! Noland, even with the setback, is super excited about how this technology can help people like him regain some control over their lives. For now, Neuralink’s main focus is on helping people with disabilities get some movement back. Imagine being able to feed yourself or write again with just your thoughts – that would be amazing!

So, while Neuralink is still under development, it has a lot of promise. It’s kind of like having a tiny superhero sidekick in your brain, helping you do things you never thought possible!

Elon Musk’s Neuralink, a company aiming to bridge the gap between human brains and computers, has begun human trials with its brain-computer interface (BCI) technology. While initial results offer a glimpse into a future where paralyzed individuals regain lost abilities, the journey has encountered some unexpected roadblocks.

Elon Musk Neuralink
©️ Neuralink / X

The initial stages were promising. Arbaugh, once confined to minimal movements, could navigate a computer screen, even playing games like Mario Kart. However, within weeks, a significant setback emerged. Around 85% of the electrode threads became dislodged from his brain tissue. This was attributed to the brain’s natural movement exceeding Neuralink’s initial predictions.

Thankfully, Neuralink engineers were able to adapt the system without requiring further surgery for Arbaugh. They adjusted the recording algorithms to compensate for the reduced number of active electrodes and refined the interface for improved cursor control. While Arbaugh needed to learn a new clicking method, he regained control and even surpassed his initial performance.

You might also like to read: Elon Musk’s First Neuralink Brain-Chip User Plays Chess Easily

Medina Syla

I couldn't help but wonder...