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Rehabilitation through rewiring: Interview with Eb Fetz and Steve Perlmutter

The future of rehabilitation therapy for victims of stroke or spinal-cord injury may lie in a small computer chip — called a neurochip — being developed, in cooperation, by the Washington National Primate Research Center (WaNPRC) and the UW’s College of Engineering.

This chip could repair and ultimately restore function of neurological communication within areas of the brain, and between brain or body activities for people whose neurons have been weakened or damaged in some way. For example, a stroke victim whose mobility has been compromised could receive this implant and, over time, have his brain re-wired by the chip to ensure that a new connection could be made.

Eberhard Fetz, UW professor and researcher at WaNPRC, started researching brain-machine interfaces 10 years ago and has since published several articles about the ability of neurochips to create bidirectional brain computer interfaces.