Skip to comments.Brain Blanket Boosts Mind Control
Posted on 02/15/2008 2:19:22 PM PST by blam
Brain blanket boosts mind control
18:00 15 February 2008
NewScientist.com news service
With a sheet of electrodes placed over the brain, people can quickly learn to move a cursor around a computer screen using their thoughts. Early trials suggest that this new procedure could overtake more established brain-computer interfaces (BCIs).
The two established techniques involve inserting electrodes into the brain or attaching them onto the scalp. These approaches have let people control robotic limbs, steer wheelchairs, type messages and walk in virtual worlds using thought alone.
BCIs will one day transform the lives of people with disabilities and neurological disorders affecting their ability to move or communicate, says neuroscientist Gerwin Schalk at the Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, US.
But which method will be best at doing that is still an open question, he says. "The two established sensor methods have fundamental problems that I think will be difficult to overcome."
Electrodes on the scalp can only detect electrical waves that have passed through the skull, producing a weak signal susceptible to interference from mains electricity and other sources.
Electrodes implanted directly into the brain produce much clearer signals, but are not well tolerated by the body. "The brain tries to get rid of [the electrodes] by covering them with a sheet of tissue," explains Schalk. "The signal degrades over time."
Schalk and colleagues at Albany Medical College, Washington University in St Louis, University of Washington, Seattle, and the University of Wisconsin at Madison, all US, think a third approach will face fewer hurdles.
(Excerpt) Read more at technology.newscientist.com ...
Misleading headline. Mind control is what the MSM does to the masses.
discover magazine 1999
A team of neurologists has developed a device that allows paralyzed people to communicate through a computer without having to move a muscle. Philip Kennedy, a neurologist in private practice near Atlanta, has been working on the implant--a millimeter-long electrode--for 12 years. Implanted into the part of the brain that normally controls the hands, the electrode, coated with growth factors that spur brain tissue to grow into it, picks up electric signals sent back and forth by nerve cells. When a patient thinks about moving his hands, electrical activity near the electrode increases. Through an amplifier and antennas positioned underneath the scalp, those signals are transmitted to a computer, which uses them to drive a cursor across a screen. By concentrating or relaxing, a patient can control the firing of his neurons and make the cursor stop on an icon with a prepared message or on a letter of a keyboard display. The computer then speaks or prints a letter or message.
Kennedy and his partner Roy Bakay, a neurosurgeon at Emory University have tried the implant in two patients so far. The first, a woman suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, passed away due to her illness 76 days after receiving the implant. Their second patient, a man paralyzed from the top of the neck down after a stroke, has had his implant for nearly a year. He hasn't quite mastered the keyboard, but he can position the icon near prepared messages. "He's delighted," says Kennedy, "and when it works for him he has a big smile on his face."
Kennedy and Bakay hope their implant will help people control prosthetic devices as well as computer cursors. There are approximately 5 million people in the world who are quadriplegic, paraplegic, or have locked-in syndrome. With enough funding, says Kennedy, he could help these people in as little as three to five years.
"In 2004 a young quadriplegic man had his brain plugged into a computer using BrainGate, a brain-machine interface made by a company called Cyberkinetics. With BrainGate he can move a robotic arm, move a cursor on a screen, even beat people at Pong, just by using his brain. So far, the information only flows one way, but what about uploading information to the brain? Deep brain stimulation is already being used to treat Parkinsons disease, but what about certain dementias, such as Alzheimers disease? Could we augment memory by stimulating certain areas of the brain? If so, could we increase the memory of normal individuals, or should we?"
Oooo. Does that come in a tin foil model?
Cat’s expression is priceless. Resigned detachment. He’s clearly playing the role of straight man in this comic duo.
I need one of those to control my television.
Technologies of this kind are often incorrectly seen in isolation. That is, typically, people just limit what someone might do with invention to just it, in the absence of other inventions.
But in truth, an invention like this would be a good *complement* to other inventions. For example, speech-to-text software like Dragon Naturally Speaking is already in its fifth or sixth generation and works very well for some things.
But while it is an efficient way to write words, navigation with Dragon is more difficult than if you could just move a mouse pointer around with your mind.
It might increase the efficiency of what you were doing by several times.
Cat is doing a good job of controlling the dweeb holding her.