Nanobiotechnology company founded in 2016 by Elon Musk and Max Hodak developing brain-machine interface to connect humans and computers based in San Francisco, California. Neuralink develops devices aimed to help people with brain diseases and injuries, with a long term vision of developing devices that merge humans with AI.
Elon Musk prefers to use the term "neural lace" for the BCI's in development by Neuralink. A term he took from a a series of science fiction books written by the Scottish novelist Iain M. Banks called The Culture.
Neuralink’s devices build upon academic research in deep brain stimulation, cochlear implants, neurostimulation for epilepsy and the Utah array. The Utah Array, used for neural recording in BCI research and the BrainGate device, is made of a rigid grid of up to 128 electrode channels. Depending on the version, Neuralink claims its systems can record from 1,500 or 3000 electrode channels. The thin, flexible electrodes are claimed to be less likely to cause tissue damage compared withthan the Utah Array which is known to cause a tissue response that can interfere with recorded signals or damage brain cells.
In 2015, Mosehni and Nudo were having trouble raising money to continue their work and were approached by a buyer, who's identity was unknown to them at the time, wanting to purchase the trademark rights for their company's name, NeuroLink. The two founders sold the company name to the mysterious buyer for tens of thousands of dollars (the actual amount is unknown). It was not until after the deal was made that Mohseni and Nudo learned that the mysterious buyer was actually Elon Musk. Musk decided to change the name of the company slightly from NeuroLinkNeuraLink to NeurolinkNeuralink before officially founding the company in 2016.
NeurolinkNeuralink’s 2019 non-peer reviewed whitepaper demonstrates two of their devices System A and System B implanted in rats which took electrophysiological recordings as they moved around freely. Digitized broadband signals were processed in real-time to identify action potentials, also referred to as spikes, using an online detection algorithm. Neuralink uses custom spike-detection software for filter out false positive spikes. Their threshold was set to >0.35 Hz to quantify the number of electrodes recording spiking units. The simultaneous recording from over 3000 inserted electrodes in a freely moving rat was reported. The placement of electrodes was successful 87% of the time in 19 rats. Neuralink did not demonstrate capabilities for modulating neural activity, but state that their device is designed to be capable of electrical stimulation on every channel.