Locked-in patients tell scientists they are 'happy' through mind-reading computer

Scientists have developed a way of communicating with patients who are paralysed and unable to talk by measuring the blood oxygen levels and electrical activity in their brains.

The patients were asked “yes or no” questions that they knew the answer to while a computer monitored the brain’s responses to both.

The data compiled by the computer was then used to calculate the responses to other questions.

Counter to expectations, all four patients consistently answered “yes” when asked “are you happy?”

The team hopes to one day help those with paralysis resulting from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, stroke, or spinal cord injury.

They say it could transform lives, allowing completely locked-in patients to express feelings and opinion to loved ones and carers.

Produced by Leon Siciliano

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