|MadSci Network: Neuroscience|
Yes, it is possible to record and convert electrical impulses from the brain and record them in a computer. Several labs do this on a regular basis. They stick little wires into, say, rat brains. Then the little wires are connected to tiny amplifiers on the rats' heads. The amplifiers then are connected to computers to record the impulses. With this type of setup, you can record impulses from about 100 individual brain cells at one time. You can also record impulses from groups of neurons as well. These recordings of neurons are used to try to figure out how different parts of the brain work and how brain cells communicate with each other. One neat thing that records of the brain from rats have been used for is to control a robotic arm (Go to http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990623063013.htm & http://www.voicenet.com/~rybak/chapin.html). This has potential uses in helping people who have been paralyzed be able to move again on their own.
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Neuroscience.