The True Creator of Every thing
When Brazil was officially announced as the host of the 2014 FIFA Soccer World Cup in 2007, I came up with an idea to introduce a global audience to the edge of modern brain research and show how much it has to off er for the betterment of human lives. After five years of planning, I approached the president of Brazil and the secretary-general of FIFA to propose running a scientific demonstration during the opening ceremony of the upcoming World Cup. The central goal of this event would be to highlight the fact that, thanks to new technological developments and major insights on the basic operation of the human brain, neuroscientists were getting close to achieving a magnificent feat: restoring mobility to millions of people worldwide paralyzed by serious spinal cord injuries.
To those in charge of the World Cup’s opening ceremony, I proposed having a young Brazilian, completely paralyzed from the chest down by a spinal cord injury, deliver the symbolic opening kickoff of the World Cup. In reply, the event organizers immediately posed to me the question anybody confronted with such an outrageous plan would ask: how will a paraplegic deliver such a kick? My answer bewildered them even more: by using a lower-limb robotic exoskeleton directly controlled by his or her brain, I said nonchalantly.