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Communications of the ACM


Brain Implants Get Real

brain implant, illustration

Credit: Getty Images

Most of us never think about how the human brain works—until something goes terribly wrong. A person may lose sight or hearing, experience cognitive decline due to disease or aging, or suffer paralysis or damage due to an accident or some other type of trauma. Unfortunately, when impairment occurs, it often is irreversible.

For centuries, scientists have pondered how they could fix a broken brain. Now, the idea of implanting microchips inside the human head is becoming real. Sitting at the intersection of neuroscience, engineering, and computing, neural implants could restore functionality for people who have suffered degenerative diseases, accidents, vision or hearing loss, and more.


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