Miguel Nicolelis, a world leader in research that may one day allow paraplegics to control computers with their own thoughts, made a de rigueur stop for any new top-line author, visiting Jon Stewart last night on The Daily Show. Stewart expressed the requisite amazement at Nicolelis's apparatus, which so far allows a monkey to control a computer cursor, an avatar or a robot with thought alone (electrical brain signals)—and which may one day let the disabled, or perhaps all of us, do the same. Think flash mobs networked with brainwaves. Nicolelis talked to Stewart for a few minutes, and also set out his vision at more length in an edited excerpt from Beyond Boundaries: The New Neuroscience of Connecting Brains with Machines—and How It Will Change Our Lives that appeared in the February issue of Scientific American.


Photo credit: Everton Zanella Alvarenga