Cathy had had a massive, brain stem stroke fourteen years ago. She is paralyses except for her eyes and some muscles of her face. Imagine, if you can bear it, that itch you cannot scratc, that longing you cannot voice, the loneliness of a life devoid of perceived touch. To be aware of all the signals of one's body with no ability to act upon them seems the height of cruelty. Perhaps I had not realized sensation would persist into paralysis. One could not even choose to pop a pill into oblivion without outside agency.
The experiments of Brainbox aim to someday restore the ability of the body to respond to volition with the aid of an implant. The story of this research is fascinating. The future applications the stuff of sci-fi. The data paints a panoply of human differential in neural structure. One thing missing is the new research suggesting that movement commences milliseconds before conscious intent. How this would impact the research is intriguing.
What remains is this fascinating woman persisting in the face of many of our worst nightmares. In a world in which one researcher found that a large class of students would all receive a guaranteed safe brain implant to play video games faster, the future seems to be speeding to us at light speed. This is a fascinating glimpse.