Neuralink has reported an unexpected setback with its first chip implanted in a human skull, as the device began detaching from the patient’s brain.

The incident involved Noland Arbaugh, who had the Neuralink chip surgically attached to his brain in February 2024.

Within a month, the device’s functionality started to decline after some of the threads that connect the chip with the brain, began retracting.

Despite the partial retraction, Arbaugh was still able to use the implant to play chess on a computer using his thoughts, the Wall Street Journal reported.

This detachment did not pose any danger to the patient.

Owned by Elon Musk, Neuralink has been refining the implant to restore its functionality after the setback.

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The decreased performance of the device was attributed to the retraction of the number of effective electrodes, which led to a lower bits per second rate, affecting the implant’s performance.

The number of bits per second shows how well the implant is performing the tasks.

Neuralink’s brain chip works by embedding a small processor and battery in the skull, with 64 threads connecting to brain tissue to interpret neural signals.

The system, known as the Link, is designed to record neural signals with the help of 1,024 electrodes across the threads, NDTV reported.

Arbaugh, a quadriplegic, has been able to control digital devices with the implant.

Despite the challenges, he expressed that the implant had significantly impacted his life during a demonstration in March.

He acknowledged that while the technology had not been flawless, it had indeed encountered some issues. Neuralink’s disclosure of the complications underscores the experimental nature of this brain-chip technology.