Paraplegic Man Controls Computer and Plays Chess Using Mind with Neuralink Implant

Published March 20, 2024

In a stunning display of technological progress, Elon Musk has revealed footage of a paraplegic man, Nolan Arbaugh, who has achieved the extraordinary feat of controlling a computer cursor and playing chess with his mind thanks to the Neuralink brain chip implantation. At 29 years old, Arbaugh's life was changed by a diving accident, which left him paralysed from the shoulders down. Now, with the help of Neuralink's cutting-edge technology, he has regained the ability to perform activities he once loved, such as playing chess.

The Neuralink Breakthrough

The remarkable video showcases Arbaugh, wheel-chair bound due to his injury, adeptly moving a mouse cursor across a screen to play an online chess game by simply thinking about the movements. His new ability is powered by Neuralink's sophisticated brain-computer interface system, which involves surgically implanted electrodes that connect to specific brain regions related to motion intention.

The system is implanted using a specialized robot designed to sew the flexible threads into the brain, akin to a sewing machine. The process includes the removal of part of the skull, the attachment of electrodes to the brain, and then the stitching of the incision, leaving behind only a small scar. Musk has emphasized the simplicity and speed of the procedure, remarking that it requires no general anesthesia and allows patients to return home the same day.

Life-Altering Implications

The success of Nolan Arbaugh with the Neuralink device has been hailed as a groundbreaking advancement in the field of medical technology. Experts in the field believe that this could signal a revolutionary shift in caregiving for individuals with disabilities. Musk himself has lauded the technology, comparing the implantation process to 'replacing a piece of the skull with a smartwatch.'

Arbaugh conveyed his enthusiasm during the clip, expressing joy at regaining the ability to engage in activities he had lost due to his accident. The footage further showed an engineer from Neuralink asking Arbaugh to describe how he manages to control the mouse cursor telepathically.

Describing his learning experience, Arbaugh explained how initially he was prompted to imagine movement and then attempted to move, focusing on his right hand moving left and right. He noted that it quickly became intuitive. His story is not only a testament to human resilience but also to the potential for technology to enhance quality of life.

Neuralink, technology, breakthrough