Neuralink’s First Brain Implant Patient Can Control Mouse with Thoughts, Musk Says

The team observed "no ill effects that we are aware of."

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Neuralink, Elon Musk’s brain implant company, recently began conducting trials with human subjects and the company claims it is already seeing progress with the brain-computer interface.

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Musk this week said the first patient to receive a Neuralink has fully recovered from the procedure and can now click a computer mouse using their thoughts. He said his team has observed “no ill effects that we are aware of” and that the focus is now on getting the patient to click the mouse as many times as possible.

Neuralink said it completed the first implant procedure in late January and that early results showed a “promising neuron spike detection.”

The human trials have drawn skepticism from regulators and critics but have also reportedly drawn lots of interest from willing participants.

Neuralink’s implant is designed to read signals from the brain and convert them into computer commands. Eventually the chip will be paired with a spinal implant that Neuralink is also developing, and the company hopes the process could help restore patients’ vision, hearing and movement.

The implantation requires removing portions of patients’ skulls before a Neuralink-designed surgical robot inserts thin electrodes into the brain. Patients receive a small implant with a short battery life. However, the team designed a special baseball hat that can wirelessly recharge the implant in a few hours.

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