On Brain-Computer Interfaces

Here’s an interesting one…

Computer users move themselves with the mind

This is an excellent example of where exactly brain-reverse engineering is at this point in time. It’s much farther progressed than most people think. We actually know a whole lot about how our brain works.

Enough to have chimps move artificial arms, anyway…

From the article:

Computer scientists have created a hat that can read your thoughts. It allows you to stroll down a virtual street. All you have to do is think about walking.

Called a brain-computer interface, the device detects activity in certain brain areas linked to movement, and uses the signals to mimic that movement in a virtual world. The technology could one day help paralysed patients to move robotic arms, or help sufferers of motor neuron disease to type out words on a virtual keyboard.

“Just thinking about movement activates the same neurons as actually moving,” explains Gert Pfurtscheller of Graz University of Technology in Austria, who has been working on the device for around four years. By picking up on these bursts of nerve activity, the computer can decide whether you are thinking about moving your hands or feet, and react accordingly.

Interfaces such as these will definately come in handy once computers will start to become ever more mobile.

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