Neuralink, Elon Musk’s brain-technology company, posted a video Wednesday that identified what the company said was the first patient to use its electronic brain implant in a clinical trial, saying he was able to move a cursor on a computer screen with his thoughts.

It would be another milestone for the company, which received approval last year from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to conduct a trial of its electronic brain implant in people.

In the video, posted on Musk’s social media site X, the 29-year-old patient said that his name was Noland Arbaugh and that he had become paralyzed from the shoulders down after a diving accident about eight years ago. Arbaugh said he loved playing chess, and the video appeared to show him moving the cursor to play computer chess.

The Washington Post could not independently verify the claims made in the video. Neuralink did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Neuralink’s device and rival products are designed to read brain activity to decipher what movement a person intends to make, then run a command to execute that action. Arbaugh said initially he practiced attempting to move his hand until it became intuitive to imagine moving the cursor.

“Basically, it was like using the Force on the cursor,” he said in the video, making an apparent reference to Star Wars, adding that he has used the implant to play a video game as well.

Kip Ludwig, co-director of the Wisconsin Institute for Translational Neuroengineering, pointed out that rival firms such as BlackRock and Synchron have previously demonstrated that paralyzed patients are able to use their implants to control electronic devices. Still, he said, Neuralink’s wireless technology is a step forward.

“Though it’s not a clear breakthrough compared to what others have shown previously yet, it’s certainly a good starting point,” Ludwig said.

The video of Arbaugh comes nearly three years after Neuralink posted a video showing a monkey playing Pong with its mind. (The company has come under fire for its treatment of animals in developing its brain implant).

Neuralink isn’t the first company to introduce an electronic implant that allows a person to move a cursor by thinking about it. Synchron, a rival, is developing a stent-like device that rests atop the brain’s motor cortex and has enabled patients to type messages using their thoughts, sometimes assisted by eye-tracking software.

Neuralink has taken a more invasive approach in the hopes that it will transfer data from the brain to the computer faster than rival technologies. The company has said it uses a robotic device to sew an electrode-laden computer chip into the surface of the brain. Musk has said that the initial application of the device is to help paralyzed patients recover function, but he also envisions it one day enhancing the capabilities of healthy people.

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