Neuralink should halt its painful and deadly animal experiments immediately and invest in non-invasive and human-relevant research.
Through 2020, the company paid $1.4 million to the University of California, Davis, to use its facilities, where experimenters removed portions of monkeys’ skulls to implant electrodes in the animals’ brains as part of Neuralink’s development of a “brain-machine interface.”
Only in 2022, following a public records lawsuit by the Physicians Committee, did the troubling details of these experiments begin to come to light.
The company is still conducting experiments on animals at its facilities in California and Texas.
Non-invasive brain-machine interfaces are the future
Devices implanted in the brain come with a myriad of problems, including difficulty of repair and a high potential for severe medical complications. In comparison, noninvasive BMIs can allow for the risk-free monitoring of large-scale neuronal activity across the entire brain.
While Neuralink continues its invasive, painful, deadly experiments, noninvasive methods – which often rely on brain signals read using an electroencephalogram (EEG) – are already changing patients’ lives and hold even greater promise:
- Noninvasive BMIs can improve quality of life for older adults and elderly patients. They “have been used for restoring memory and planning using electromagnetic stimulation and biofeedback that modulate activity in a patient’s brain as part of a rehabilitation program….Moreover, invasive [BMIs] that require implantation of the device might be a serious ethical issue.
- Therefore, non-invasive EEG-based [BMIs]…appear to be the most promising technologies.”
- They can translate brain activity into intelligible speech using functional magnetic resonance imaging.
- They can “assist paralyzed patients by providing access to the world without requiring surgical intervention.”
- They can allow patients with limited mobility to control robotic arms. “[Invasive BCIs] require a substantial amount of medical and surgical expertise to correctly install and operate, not to mention cost and potential risks to subjects…”
- They can allow patients with severe tetraplegia to control a wheelchair.
- Noninvasive BMIs can also allow people to communicate directly using a computer, and research is being done to improve this capability.
The development of noninvasive BMIs should be the focus of innovation, and there is clearly much discussion in support of moving in that direction. Neuralink should halt its animal experiments immediately and invest in human-relevant research.
Original source: https://all-creatures.org