Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Cyborgs Don't Need Implants: Brain Waves Can Control Computers

Mind Over Matter: Brain Waves Guide a Cursor's Path (washingtonpost.com)
"Neuroscientists and biomedical engineers in that specialty have become increasingly adept at making devices that translate people's thoughts into actions -- a potential boon for paralyzed patients. But the newest and reputedly most promising of those systems have been dependent on wire electrodes implanted directly into the brain, presenting risks of infection and other complications.

"By contrast, the cap that Hamel has been test-driving picks up on brain waves emanating from his skull. With it, he can send computer cursors on various trajectories and zap targets as they appear on a screen, using nothing more than a series of mental impulses.

"'People have assumed you'd have to put electrodes in the brain to get this level of control,' said lead researcher Jonathan Wolpaw, chief of the nervous system disorders lab at the state health department's Wadsworth Center. 'But noninvasive methods can be a lot better than people have given them credit for.'

"Wolpaw's 'thinking cap' sports 64 sensors (the polka dots) that detect electroencephalographic (EEG) signals generated by neurons."

Compare to an article blogged earlier this month on the sensor implanted under the skull and directly into the brain of quadriplegic Matthew Nagle, which allowed him to control a computer and other machines using pure thought.


Post a Comment

<< Home