It sounds like science fiction, but a neural implant could, many years from now, read and edit a person’s thoughts. Neural implants are already being used to treat disease, rehabilitate the body after injury, improve memory, communicate with prosthetic limbs, and more.
The U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) have devoted hundreds of millions of dollars in funding toward this sector. Independent research papers on the topic appear in top journals almost weekly.
Here, we describe types of neural implants, explain how neural implants work, and provide examples demonstrating what these devices can do.