Neuralink Patient Describes New Telekinetic Ability

Neuralink logo | Image by Neuralink

The first human patient to receive a Neuralink brain chip says the technology has given him telekinetic abilities similar to those depicted in Star Wars.

Neuralink Corp. broadcasted a livestream this week featuring 29-year-old Noland Arbaugh, the first patient to receive the company’s experimental brain-computer implant.

Arbaugh was in a “freak diving accident” nearly a decade ago and was left completely paralyzed below the shoulders. Although Arbaugh is quadriplegic and has no sensation or mobility below his injury point, he says the Neuralink brain chip has granted him the ability to play Chess and Civilization VI with his mind.

“I love playing Chess,” Arbaugh said during the livestream.

“I haven’t really been able to do much over the last few years, especially not like this,” said Arbaugh, moving the digital Chess pieces around the board with his mind. “And so, this is one of the things that y’all [at Neuralink] have enabled me to do.”

“Now it’s all being done with my brain. If y’all can see the cursor moving around the screen, that’s all me,” he said.

Arbaugh shared that it took some practice getting used to “imagined movement” over “attempted movement” but after a while, he began to intuitively control the computer cursor by imagining where he wanted it to go.

“It was like using ‘the Force’ on a cursor,” Arbaugh described. “I could get it to move wherever I wanted. Just stare somewhere on the screen and it would move where I wanted it to, which was such a wild experience.”

“It’s crazy. It really is,” he said, adding that he is thankful for the technology and excited about all the possibilities for future advancements.

Another of the products that Neuralink has in the pipeline is Blindsight, a device designed to recover or restore vision.

“Even if someone has never had vision ever — like they were born blind, we believe that we can still restore vision using Neuralink,” Musk told audience members during Neuralink Show & Tell in 2022.

“Blindsight is the next Neuralink product after Telepathy,” Musk said in a post on X.

“I should mention that the Blindsight implant is already working in monkeys. Resolution will be low at first, like early Nintendo graphics, but ultimately may exceed normal human vision,” he said.

“Also, no monkey has died or been seriously injured by a Neuralink device!” added Musk.

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