Scientists have now crammed a huge array of tiny sensors into a space no more than a fingernail to read this complex mix of electrical signals in order to predict what sounds a person is trying to make.
"Artificial speech" opens the door to a future in which people who are unable to speak due to neurological conditions can communicate through thought, as sensors detect the muscles we want to move in the lips, tongue, jaw and throat.Senior co-author Gregory Cogan, from Duke University, says, "There are many patients with debilitating movement disorders, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or closed syndrome, that can impair their ability to speak."
Ultra-slim, medical-grade flexible plastic, with electrodes less than 2 mm apart, which can detect specific signals even from neurons that are very close to each other.
Duke University biomedical engineer Sussandrakumar Duraifel used a machine learning algorithm to evaluate recorded information to determine how well brain activity can predict future speech, according to a scientific study published in the journal Science Alert.
"We are now working on developing the same type of recording device, but without any wires... You'll be able to move, and you won't have to be tied to an electrical outlet, which is really exciting."