The locked-in boy and the brain experiment

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Manage episode 305041174 series 1301438
By BBC and BBC World Service. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
Erik Ramsey was seriously injured in a car crash when he was 16 years old. He became locked-in and lost all voluntary muscle function except for the ability to move his eyes up and down. His father Eddie, desperate to help his son communicate, reached out to neurologist and neuroscientist Dr Phil Kennedy. Phil was known for his pioneering work helping paralysed patients communicate again. His method was to implant electrodes in their brains that would transmit their thoughts to a computer. He started working with Erik and Eddie but eventually, in order to advance his research, Phil decided to experiment by implanting the same electrodes into his own, healthy brain. It was a drastic and controversial step - if the surgery on Phil's brain went wrong, he risked losing his ability to speak. Phil, Eddie and Erik are featured in the documentary, The Father of the Cyborgs. And Phil has written a book called Unlocking Erik. Get in touch: outlook@bbc.com Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Maryam Maruf Picture: Phil Kennedy before his brain implant surgery Credit: Paul Powton

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