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The Force Trainer, expected to sell for about $120, is not medical-grade hardware, but it uses a headset to monitor the brain, and then transmits a signal to a base that features a fan and a ball in a tube. The headset is calibrated to sense beta waves, a specific type of brain waves associated with concentration. When you focus, the headset reads the electrical pattern from inside your head and sends a signal to a microchip that switches on the fan in the base unit and levitates the pingpong in a clear tube. The more intense the focus and concentration, the faster the fan spins and the quicker the ball rises. When concentration is broken or weak, the ball drops. A computer chip programmed with the voice of Yoda the Jedi master guides users through several increasingly different levels of control. Another mind toy, Mattel's Mind Flex, uses the same mind-bending technology to guide a ball through a series of obstacles. It will be available in the fall. "The mind sends signals to the body all the time," says Tansy Brook, spokeswoman for Neurosky, the company that simplified and shrunk the technology to fit inside the toys. "But for many people this is the first time you can see it sending a signal to things outside body, and it's really just a matter of learning what kind of feeling you need to have in your brain to make things happen. "The application and modification of the technology is cutting-edge," says Brook, "but its history and roots are based in something very familiar -- EEGs." Scientists have been studying electroencephalography, or EEG -- the recording of electrical activity along the scalp produced by the firing of neurons within the brain -- since 1890. The technology has been used for medical applications for roughly 60 years, but this is the first time it's become widely available and affordable.