The Reading / Listening - Brain Implants - Level 2

A man who can't move his hands used his thoughts to write on a computer screen. The man is paralyzed from the neck down. Scientists from Stanford University implanted two tiny sensors into the man's brain. The scientists called this "brain-to-text" and "mindwriting". The man wants to be anonymous, so scientists call him T5. He became paralyzed after a spinal cord injury ten years ago. The implants allow him to use his mind to write. He can write about 18 words per minute. This is five words slower than the average person writing a text message on a smartphone.

The mindwriting system is simple, but it uses a lot of advanced technology. Scientists asked T5 to imagine writing a sentence on a paper. Sensors in his brain detected activity as he imagined writing. A computer turned this activity into text on a screen. The scientists used a special algorithm. A researcher hopes his system will help millions of paralyzed people to write again. It might also help people who cannot speak. The researcher said: "The goal is to restore their ability to communicate by text." In the future, this technology might help us to write at the speed of thought.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Brain Implants - Level 0 Brain Implants - Level 1   or  Brain Implants - Level 3

Sources
  • https://edition.cnn.com/2021/05/13/americas/paralyzed-handwriting-scn-scli-intl/index.html
  • https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/brain-computer-interface-user-types-90-characters-per-minute-with-mind-68762
  • https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00776-8


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice activities, drag and drop activities, sentence jumbles, which word activities, text reconstructions, spelling, gap fills and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)





Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. A man who can't move
  2. write on a
  3. The man is paralyzed from
  4. implanted two tiny sensors into
  5. The scientists called this
  6. The man wants to be
  7. a spinal cord
  8. He can write about 18 words
  1. anonymous
  2. the neck down
  3. "brain-to-text"
  4. injury
  5. his hands
  6. per minute
  7. computer screen
  8. the man's brain

Paragraph 2

  1. The mindwriting system
  2. it uses a lot of advanced
  3. imagine writing
  4. Sensors in his brain
  5. A computer turned this
  6. The scientists used a special
  7. help millions of paralyzed people
  8. help us to write at the speed
  1. of thought
  2. a sentence
  3. activity into text
  4. technology
  5. to write again
  6. detected activity
  7. is simple
  8. algorithm

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

A man (1) ___________________ his hands used his thoughts to write on a computer screen. The man (2) ___________________ the neck down. Scientists from Stanford University implanted two (3) ___________________ the man's brain. The scientists called this "brain-to-text" and "mindwriting". The man wants to be anonymous, so scientists call him T5. He became paralyzed after (4) ___________________ injury ten years ago. The implants allow him to use his mind to write. He can write about (5) ___________________ minute. This is five words slower than the average person writing (6) ___________________ on a smartphone.

The mindwriting system is simple, but it uses a (7) ___________________ technology. Scientists asked T5 to imagine writing a sentence on a paper. Sensors in (8) ___________________ activity as he imagined writing. A computer (9) ___________________ into text on a screen. The scientists used (10) ___________________. A researcher hopes his system will help millions of paralyzed people to write again. It might also help people who cannot speak. The researcher said: "The goal is to (11) ___________________ to communicate by text." In the future, this technology might help us to write at the (12) ___________________.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Amanwhocan'tmovehishandsusedhisthoughtstowriteonacomputer
screen.Themanisparalyzedfromtheneckdown.ScientistsfromStanfo
rdUniversityimplantedtwotinysensorsintotheman'sbrain.Thescienti
stscalledthis"brain-to-text"and"mindwriting".Themanwantstobean
onymous,soscientistscallhimT5.Hebecameparalyzedafteraspinalco
rdinjurytenyearsago.Theimplantsallowhimtousehismindtowrite.He
canwriteabout18wordsperminute.Thisisfivewordsslowerthantheav
eragepersonwritingatextmessageonasmartphone.Themindwritings
ystemissimple,butitusesalotofadvancedtechnology.Scientistsasked
T5toimaginewritingasentenceonapaper.Sensorsinhisbraindetected
activityasheimaginedwriting.Acomputerturnedthisactivityintotexto
nascreen.Thescientistsusedaspecialalgorithm.Aresearcherhopeshis
systemwillhelpmillionsofparalyzedpeopletowriteagain.Itmightalsoh
elppeoplewhocannotspeak.Theresearchersaid:"Thegoalistorestoret
heirabilitytocommunicatebytext."Inthefuture,thistechnologymight
helpustowriteatthespeedofthought.

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________

Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

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