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SCI/TECH: Brain wave technology could change lives

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posted on Dec, 6 2004 @ 08:26 PM
Researchers in NY have devised a system that interprets brain activity into actions on a computer. This system allows paralyzed individuals the capability to regain control over their lives by allowing them to literally use their thoughts to control a computer. The process takes some practice as the system must "learn" what the person's brain waves are intending but the researchers claim that novice users can be up and running very quickly.
"If you can move a cursor in several dimensions and you can select items, then you can have the panoply, the whole universe of computer programs available to you," says Dr. Jonathan Wolpaw, who heads the project at the New York State Department of Health's Wadsworth Center in Albany.

"Studies show that if paralyzed people can communicate, they can have lives that are worthwhile and meaningful and enjoyable, both for them and their family members," says Dr. Wolpaw.

Brain waves are the very weak electrical signals given off by the firing of millions of nerve cells in the brain. They can be measured by wires in a cap placed on the outside of the head.

The program that translates a person's waves into computer movement takes some practice.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

This reminds me of the early stages of voice recognition software where you had to train the software to your dialect and pronunciations. This has major implications for the millions of individuals who suffer from either partial or full paralysis and have found themselves confined to a bed or wheelchair.

Though it may be a ways off this system could even allow paralyzed people to operate motor vehicles. This technology combined with the work in magnetic car control systems could open doors previously kept shut to paralyzed individuals.

Related News Links:

[edit on 6-12-2004 by Banshee]

posted on Dec, 6 2004 @ 09:03 PM
I think this should be allowed to go both ways.

If the the computer thinks it needs a more powerful power supply or a better video card, it should just modulate the user's brain waves till the user relents and buys the equipment.

This way it won't be so one-sided.


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