Electrical stimulation may serve to treat a variety of brain-related conditions, and there are already a number of products that help to control Parkinson’s, essential tremor, addiction, and depression. Though there’s a considerable ongoing progress, most of the currently available technologies are not very smart and certainly can’t measure brain activity and respond to it simultaneously.
Researchers at University of California, Berkeley, have developed a wireless electrode array implant that can read and contemporaneously stimulate the brain. The technology, being commercialized by Cortera Neurotechnologies, a spinoff firm, can read and write up to 128 electrodes that make contact with the brain in such a fashion that the stimulation does not significantly affect reading of the brain’s natural electric signals. This would allow for the creation of devices that immediately respond to brain signals, such as those that result in seizures, tremors, tinnitus, and other symptoms of common neurological conditions.
The trick of the WAND (wireless artifact-free neuromodulation device), as it’s called, are the novel integrated circuits that can subtract the signals they produce from what the device is sensing from the brain, resulting in only the natural brainwaves as the input it works with.