29-year-old quadriplegic plays chess online using a Brain Computer Interface

by Shahid Ahmed
3/22/2024 – 29-year-old Noland Arbaugh became the first user of Neuralink. He mentioned in the livestream that about eight years ago he had a freak diving accident. It dislocated his C4 and C5 vertebrae, which made him quadriplegic. He is paralysed and has no sensation of movement below the shoulders. Noland controlled a computer cursor with his brain using Brain Computer Interface. Check out this fascinating piece of technology. | Photo: Neuralink

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Brain Computer Interface

Bliss, an engineer at Neuralink, asks 29-year-old quadriplegic, Noland Arbaugh to explain how he is able to control the cursor using his brain.

We started trying out with a few different things. We basically went from what we call kind of differentiating like imagine movement versus attempted movement. So, a lot of what we started out was with attempting to move. I would attempt to move say my right hand, left right forward back... from there I think it just became intuitive for me to start imagining the cursor moving, basically it was like using the force on a cursor and I could get it to move wherever I wanted. Just stare somewhere on the screen, and it would move where I wanted it to, which was such a wild experience.

Arbaugh also commented:

I love playing chess, and so this is one of the things that you all have enabled me to do. Something that I wasn't able to do much, the last few years.

Check out the entire livestream on YouTube.

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Shahid Ahmed is the senior coordinator and editor of ChessBase India. He enjoys covering chess tournaments and also likes to play in chess events from time to time.