Oops: First Neuralink Brain Implant in Human Malfunctions

(Discern Media)—The first human to receive a Neuralink implant experienced a malfunction when several threads designed to record neural activity retracted from the brain, as revealed by the Elon Musk-owned startup. The incident occurred in the weeks following the surgery in late January that implanted the Neuralink hardware in 29-year-old Noland Arbaugh, a quadriplegic.

As a result of the retraction, the number of effective electrodes was reduced, which in turn limited Arbaugh’s ability to control a computer cursor with his brain. In response, Neuralink modified the recording algorithm to be more sensitive to neural population signals, improved the techniques to translate these signals into cursor movements, and enhanced the user interface.

Following these adjustments, Neuralink reported a “rapid and sustained improvement” in the bits-per-second measure of speed and accuracy of cursor control, surpassing Arbaugh’s initial performance. The company has assured that the issue does not pose a safety risk to Arbaugh.

However, Neuralink reportedly considered removing his implant, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company has also informed the Food and Drug Administration that it believes it has a solution for the issue that occurred with Arbaugh’s implant.

Despite the setback, Neuralink highlighted Arbaugh’s achievements since receiving the implant just over 100 days ago, including his ability to play online computer games, browse the internet, livestream, and use other applications “all by controlling a cursor with his mind.”

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Article generated from corporate media reports.