Led by scientists at UC Berkeley, researchers are taking steps toward developing a brain implant that can vocalize imagined words for people with diseases that impair speech, such as ALS. In proof of concept studies published May 11 in Scientific Reports, participants performed tasks involving auditory cues, speech or imagined speech, while electrocorticographic (ECoG) signals were recorded from the temporal lobe, frontal lobe, and sensorimotor cortex, brain regions involved in auditory and speech processing. Analyzing the ECoG signals, the team was able to decode words imagined by participants from a finite list of words with 58% accuracy. They now aim to increase the accuracy of decoding and the vocabulary size they are able to decipher.
Click here to read more.
Martin S, Brunner P, Iturrate I, Millán Jdel R, Schalk G, Knight RT, Pasley BN. Word pair classification during imagined speech using direct brain recordings. Sci Rep. 2016 May 11;6:25803. [Pubmed].