I am shocked to learn that Neuralink has subjected monkeys and other animals to invasive experiments to develop a brain-computer interface intended to help paralyzed people move or communicate. These experiments are not only cruel, they are unnecessary.
Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) have been studied using human volunteers for over a decade and many have already been successfully developed without the use of animals.
In one instance, research at the University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute enabled a paralyzed man to experience touch through a robotic arm controlled by his brain. This breakthrough was built on years of work at that institute, which previously facilitated several significant advances in human BCI research. [Science Translational Medicine; 19 Oct 2016; 8:361; p. 361]
In 2016, human research at UMC Utrecht Brain Center enabled a paralyzed patient to speak using a computer after receiving a BCI implant. [N Engl J Med; 2016; 375:2060-2066]
It is disappointing that a company like Neuralink, dedicated to finding innovative solutions through advanced technology, is ignoring this important body of work and has resorted to using outdated and inhumane animal experiments.
I join thousands of people in insisting that Neuralink cease these painful and invasive experiments on monkeys and other animals in favor of modern, effective, human-focused research.