Neuroscientists make headway turning thoughts into speech

Source: USA Today

In a report out Tuesday, scientists say that through a kind of surgical wiretapping they were able to translate brain electrical signals back into single words overheard by patients, with 89% accuracy. The report raises the possibility that brain sensors could help people speak through a computer simply by thinking what they want to say.

“We’re trying to figure out how the brain decodes acoustics into words,” says study senior author Bob Knight of the University of California-Berkeley. The goal, he says, is to help patients rendered voiceless by strokes or other ailments speak their thoughts directly, Knight says, much like Stephen Hawking, the famed physicist who speaks only with the aid of a computer synthesizer.

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