Neural Implants and the Silicon Valley Brain Race

Brain computer interfaces are the future and Silicon Valley companies are racing to be the first to merge the human brain with AI technology. The biggest names in tech, as well as US government and private defence firms are investing obscene amounts of cash into research that could lead to a symbiotic relationship between man and machine.

Let's dig a little deeper and discover what exactly a neural implant is.

A neural implant is any type of technological device that connects to the human brain. Neural implants can be placed on the brain surface or alternatively they can be embedded into the cortex of the brain. Much of the current research revolves around the idea that we can overcome brain dysfunctions caused by a stroke or a head injury. Brain implants have also been used by scientists to collect data and to monitor brain activity, this is usually done via animal testing. Neural implants can also be used to treat people with Parkinson’s disease or depression.

Let's take a look at some of the companies who are involved in this cutting Edge research

1. Kernel

founded by multi millionaire Brian Johnson, Kernel’s aim is to create hardware and software that can help us to understand and ultimately treat neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, epilepsy and dementia. It is thought that once these diseases are better understood, then we can begin to work towards applications for increasing human intelligence and cognition. The neuroscientists and engineers behind the company are conducting groundbreaking research which is being backed financially by private partners.

2. Neuralink

founded by multi millionaire Brian Johnson, Kernel’s aim is to create hardware and software that can help us to understand and ultimately treat neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, epilepsy and dementia. It is thought that once these diseases are better understood, then we can begin to work towards applications for increasing human intelligence and cognition. The neuroscientists and engineers behind the company are conducting groundbreaking research which is being backed financially by private partners.

3. Synchron

Synchron has trademarked and developed the world’s first endovascular electrode array. It’s called the STENTRODE, and it is designed to be implanted into the brain in the most non invasive manner possible. This patented device could help to treat a wide range of brain anomalies including movement disorders epilepsy and paralysis. The device is currently being tested in clinical trials and this technology is extremely exciting as it could dramatically change the lives of those that suffer from neurological diseases and disorders.

What are neural implants made from?

A neural implant needs to be flexible as well as compatible with electrical components. Graphene is an ideal material for neural implants and it is this material which is looking to be the most promising. You may be forgiven for thinking that the merging of the brain with artificial intelligence is an idea that belongs in the realm of science fiction. However, current technological developments are edging closer and closer to making the stuff of science fiction a reality.

Phoebe Hodgkinson-meadows

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