News Picks : Brain implant may one day serve as speech prosthesis
MIT Technology Review: People who are unable to speak may one day communicate via their brain waves. Edward Chang of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues have been conducting speech experiments on epilepsy patients who have had a sheet of electrodes placed under their skull to record their brain’s electrical activity. Not only does the procedure help doctors to locate the source of the patients’ seizures, but it also has allowed Chang to study the brain’s electrical activity as the patients move their lips, tongue, and vocal cords to pronounce various sounds. The researchers hope to use those observations to identify key phonetic features and eventually translate them into human speech. Such efforts could be helped along with the use of speech recognition software.