In a first step toward helping severely paralyzed people communicate more easily, Utah researchers have shown that it is possible to translate recorded brain waves into words, using a grid of electrodes placed directly on the brain.

Although they have only done it with one person and individual words can only be identified with accuracy in tests 50% of the time, the study reported Tuesday provides a ray of hope for people who can now communicate only by blinking, or wiggling a fingertip.

“This is quite a simple technology … based on devices that have been used in humans for 50 years now,” said bioengineer Bradley Greger of the University of Utah, the lead author of a report in the Journal of Neuroengineering.

via Electrodes translate brain waves into words – latimes.com.