Use of Surgery in Neurological Procedures

Scientists have created a decoder that turns brain activity into speech. In future, the brain-machine interface could restore speech for people who have lost the ability to use their voice through paralysis and conditions such as throat cancer, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson’s disease.

There is a three-step process on how the new technique turns brain signals into synthetic speech:

The process starts by surgically implanting electrodes into the brain which identify relevant neural signals from brain activity.

The signals are then decoded into estimated movements of lips, tongue, larynx and jaw.

The estimated movements are then transformed into synthetic speech.

Kate Watkins, a professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University of Oxford has described the new decoder as a “huge advance… that could be really important for providing people who have no means of producing language with a device that could deliver that for them.”

Adding to this, Edward Chang, a professor of neurological surgery at the University of California, San Francisco and his fellow colleagues tried something different. They targeted brain areas that send instructions to coordinate the sequence of movements of the tongue, lips, jaw and throat during speech. Chang explained that “it is exhilarating proof of principle that, with technology that is already within reach, we should be able to build a device that is clinically viable in patients with speech loss.”

The role of surgery is critical in delivering the best possible outcome for patients across the entire healthcare industry. From neurological procedures to oncological ones, surgery ensures that patients have the best possible chance of a full recovery.

You can discover the latest technology and techniques for surgeons and their surgical teams at the Surgery Convention at the NEC, Birmingham on the 17th and 18th March 2020. Across the 100 cutting edge exhibitors and 60 CPD accredited seminars, surgeons, procurement managers, and hospital directors will find the information, techniques, technologies, and services they need to ensure the delivery of perfect procedures for every patient.

Tickets for the Surgery Convention are free, so register for your ticket at the top of the page.


Contact the show’s Event Director, Dominic van Duivenbode at or call 0117 929 6097.