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Stanford research recognized at 2022 BCI Annual Award

November 17, 2022

Stanford researchers developed an intracortical brain computer interface (BCI) that reads brain activity during attempted speaking movements and translates it into text in real-time. 

The research participant (who has lost the ability to speak intelligibly due to ALS) was able to copy randomly-generated sentences cued on a screen through the BCI, and also expressed herself freely in answering open-ended questions. 

This project, conducted by Francis R. Willet and colleagues at Stanford University, was awarded 2nd place at the 2022 Annual BCI Award

The work builds upon previous research where a BCI implanted into the cortex of a person with spinal cord injury allowed them to translate imagined handwriting into on-screen text at a rate of 90 word per minute. 

Dr. Willett led this research while working as a research scientist in the Neural Prosthetics Translational Laboratory (NPTL) under the direction of Krishna Shenoy, PhD, and Jaimie Henderson, MD.

NPTL's research focuses on the twin goals of investigating fundamental principles of human neuroscience and translating laboratory insights into clinically viable assistive devices for people with paralysis. Using small, surgically implantable sensors, our lab decodes nerve cell activity from the areas of the brain that control movement, allowing research participants with paralysis to move computer cursors, robotic limbs, and other assistive devices.

Learn about the Neuro Prosthetic Translational Laboratory: https://nptl.stanford.edu/