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Miracle Mind Control! - The Thought Translation Device - Hope for ALS Patients

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posted on Mar, 4 2005 @ 08:34 AM
It may not be about black triangles being piloted by psychic vampire reptilians from Atlantis, but to those of us with friends or relatives that have ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), or other degenerative nervous or muscle diseases, this is some pretty exciting stuff. I apologize if there is already a thread on this, but the search engine showed no results in the last six months.

Most of us know someone who is gravely paralyzed, either through disease or nerve damage. Such patients might only have control of one muscle in their body, such as Stephen Hawking's finger, or perhaps in others an eyelid. Some don't even have that much control, not a single muscle responding to their brain activity. Sometime in the very near future, my aunt, recently diagnosed with ALS, will be one of these locked-in patients.

Previous to this development, 95% of most patients with advance warning opted against life support, because the life of a locked-in patient was thought to be too horrible to consider.

That was the case, but German neuroscientist Niels Birbaumer Ph.D. has developed a Thought Translation Device that is allowing people in this condition, to browse the internet, write emails, and more recently, teleconferencing.

from Psychology Today
Niels Birbaumer, Ph.D., of the University of Tübingen calls his machine a Thought Translation Device, or TTD. It is attuned to a low-frequency brain wave called the slow cortical potential, which people can produce at will. By controlling their thoughts, patients can answer yes-or-no questions, spell out sentences or even surf the Internet.

(source article: Psychology Today - July 24, 2003)

The TTD allows for locked-in patients to communicate with the outside world, greatly enhancing their quality of life, earning Birbaumer the $1.5 Leibniz Prize (Germany's equivalent to the Novel Prize). Perhaps it will soon even develop to the point where patients can play computer games by thought alone, which would probably earn an E3 prize as well.

The technical specs of the Thought Translation Device are interesting as well. Considering the military applications of this technology, we can expect more funding for such a project.

I have emailed Birbaumer requesting information on how a patient can be signed up for research on this. If I receive any replies, I will post them here.

posted on Mar, 4 2005 @ 10:58 AM
I heard of this recently. There was even something about controlling the mouse with your mind, as if it was another limb. Very exciting technology. I wonder what it will lead to. You could attach remote control, and then even disabled people will be able to do such things as open doors, drive, move about. I wonder what kind of files the mind outputs. Could be used for telepathy- directly sending mind signals from one brain to another, without the limitation of language. What it would do for communication!

posted on Mar, 4 2005 @ 12:21 PM

...Cyberkinetics (Foxborough, MA) is a leader in the rapidly emerging field of brain computer interfaces. Cyberkinetics' technology allows for the creation of direct, reliable and bi-directional interfaces among the brain, nervous system and a computer...

I think this one is a bit different than what you posted...

posted on Mar, 4 2005 @ 01:36 PM
It occurs to me, that, combined with the fact that they've already shown monkey brains capable of moving robot arms through nothing but a neural interface, that menus can be operated with the TTD, and those with ALS still have cognitive thought... that we should be able to create almost an entire body for the ALS patient, with conversive abilities.

It wouldn't even have to be anything like a Cyberman from Dr. Who, or a head in a jar atop a spider-mecha... but something as simple as a wheechair, with arms that can respond to thought.

An interface could be created, presenting the user a list of conversive options (much like today's computer RPGs) that the patient can customize in their spare time. This list could be organized into a special shorthand, perhaps even organized by person, and referenced by the patient they come into contact with.

In this manner, a fully disabled body suffering from ALS would still be able to move about the house, independantly,

posted on Mar, 4 2005 @ 01:44 PM
If funny are today's movie correlates what technology is already out or is planning to come out...

Remember Dr. Octopus from the Spider Man 2 movie...

Back in the days...Startrek introduce the Cell's usage...Coincidence!

posted on Mar, 5 2005 @ 12:34 AM
This is some exciting stuff, I mean apart from allowing people who cant talk and/or move to talk and/or move, think about the other things this could be used for, I wonder if there will be a cult around this?

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