Yuma man is the first person to get the Neuralink brain implant device

By Ignacio Ventura
Published: Sunday, March 24, 2024 - 9:32am
Updated: Sunday, March 24, 2024 - 9:36am

A Yuma man is the first person to have a Neuralink implant placed on his brain.

Noland Arbaugh, 29, received the implant from the company, which was co-founded by Elon Musk.

The device aims to allow users to take actions only through their thoughts. Musk has touted the ability to control a phone or computer by just thinking about doing something on them.

A live broadcast on X, formerly known as Twitter, showed the man using the technology to play a game of chess on March 20. Arbaugh became paralyzed in 2016 after a diving accident.

Arizona State University associate professor of neural engineering Bradley Greger shared his reaction after seeing the video.

“I was super excited. I mean, this is my — kind of my life's work. Seeing it come to fruition is awesome. I mean, things I've been working on for decades now. Neuralink has really taken them to the place where they're going to help people today, and we saw that in this video," he said.

Greger also says the development will provide information about the brain.

"I think the other thing that's going to come from having this technology available is the ability to now have great insight into understanding just functionality in the human brain," he said.

With regards to risks, Greger believes the technology is safe. Though it’s unclear if the implant would need to be updated over time.

Bradley Gregor
Amber Victoria Singer/KJZZ
Bradley Gregor

KJZZ's Mark Brodie contributed to this report.

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