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Meet the First ‘Reanimated’ Quadriplegic Person

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**Embargo until 12:01 AM 6/24/14** COLUMBUS, OH - JUNE 18: Ian Burkhart watches as researchers connect a sleeve of electrodes to his arm during a training session in Columbus, OH on June 18, 2014. They will relay electronic signals from a computer connected to a chip implanted in the part Burkharts brain controlling motor movement of the hand. (Photo by Lee Powell / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Ian Burkhart watches as researchers connect a sleeve of electrodes to his arm during a training session in Columbus, Ohio. They will relay electronic signals from a computer connected to a chip implanted in the part Burkhart’s brain controlling motor movement of the hand. (Lee Powell / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

 

When Ian Burkhart broke his neck at the age of 19, he lost all movement below his shoulders. These days, he’s swiping credit cards and playing Guitar Hero. Quadriplegic? Not quite. Thanks to the advancement of neural prosthetic systems, Burkhart has regained the use of his right hand.

**Embargo until 12:01 AM 6/24/14** COLUMBUS, OH - JUNE 18: Ian Burkhart has a port at the top of his head where a transmitter carries signals from a chip implanted in his brain to a computer, seen here during a training session in Columbus, OH on June 18, 2014. He studies hand movement simulations on the screen that he then tries to replicate with his paralyzed hand. (Photo by Lee Powell / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Ian Burkhart has a port at the top of his head where a transmitter carries signals from a chip implanted in his brain to a computer, seen here during a training session in Columbus, OH. He studies hand movement simulations on the screen that he then tries to replicate with his paralyzed hand. (Lee Powell / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

 

How was this able to happen? A team of scientists from Ohio State University and Battelle Memorial Institute created a shortcut from Burkhart’s brain to the nerves in his hands. The signal for it to “move” was being sent, but his hand wasn’t receiving it. After a micro-electrode array was implanted in Burkhart’s brain, scientists were able to understand his neural activity through a machine-learning algorithm. From there, signals from his brain implant were sent to a custom sleevelike device on his arm, which was able to control Burkhart’s forearm muscles through electrical stimulation. With the advent of this technology, the Ohio native can now make six different wrist and hand motions in addition to isolated finger movements.  Watch the video below to learn more. You can find the study on these findings published here.