Cyberpong

This article is over a year and a half old, but I’ve only just come across it.

Matt Nagle is 26 year olds, and is a C4 quadriplegic, and he can play Pong with his mind. You might also describe him as cybernetic, part biology, part technology.

Interesting for my research into phenomenology and videogames.

Four months after the operation, I watched Caplan take Nagle through a typical training session. He tracked Nagle’s mental activity on two large monitors, one of which displayed a graph of red and green spiking lines. Each spike represented the firing of clusters of neurons. As Nagle performed specific actions in his mind’s eye – move arm left, move arm up – the electrodes picked up the patterns of nearby neuron groups. Then BrainGate amplified and recorded the corresponding electrical activity. Over dozens of trials the computer built a filter that associated specific neural patterns with certain movements. Later, when Nagle again mentally pictured the motions, the computer translated the signals to guide a cursor.

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