Study: Epilepsy Patients Use Mind-Control to Move Computer Cursor
June 13, 2013 11:27 AM
comment(s) - last by
Research like this could one day lead to better robotic limbs that are capable of smarter mind-control
A new study has mapped the neurological signals throughout the brain while patients complete tasks using only their thoughts, showing promise for
University of Washington researchers, led by Rajesh Rao (a UW professor of computer science and engineering), have used a brain-computer interface to allow patients to controls certain things using their thoughts.
The study, which was also conducted by Jeffrey Ojemann (a UW professor of neurological surgery) and Jeremiah Wander (a UW doctoral student in bioengineering), used seven participants with severe epilepsy for testing. The patients had been hospitalized for a procedure that attempts to locate where the brain seizures begin.
The UW team attached electrodes on top of the brains of the patients, just beneath the skull. These electrodes identified brain signals, which were sent to an amplifier and then a laptop to be be analyzed.
The patients were asked to move a cursor on a computer screen by
only thinking about the movement
. In just 40 milliseconds, the laptop was able to calculate and interpret the brain signals to move the cursor on the screen.
While other studies have been able to accomplish similar tasks, this is the first study to show what was going on in the brain while the patient was learning this task. While conducting the study, researchers observed the neurological signals throughout the brain as the patient learned the task at hand.
When the patient was first asked to move the cursor, there was a lot of activity in the prefrontal cortex -- mainly because this area is associated with learning new tasks. But after a bit of time (some as little as only 10 minutes), the activity in this area decreased because the patient had become comfortable with the task.
"We now have a larger-scale view of what's happening in the brain of a subject as he or she is learning a task," Rao said. "The surprising result is that even though only a very localized population of cells is used in the brain-computer interface, the brain recruits many other areas that aren't directly involved to get the job done."
Research like this could one day lead to better robotic limbs that are capable of smarter mind-control.
This study was published in
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: mind control isn't the right word
6/13/2013 3:40:29 PM
"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
Human Testing to Begin on Mind-controlled Prosthetic
August 9, 2010, 6:45 AM
OCZ Mind Controlled Gamer Mouse Nears Production
January 17, 2008, 2:57 PM
Quick Note: Google Chromebooks Now Coming with 1TB of Google Drive Space
November 21, 2014, 1:20 PM
Xiaomi Aims to be #1 Smartphone OEM Within 10 Years, Apple Urges Caution
November 21, 2014, 9:33 AM
Quick Note: Samsung's Request to Dismiss Microsoft Lawsuit is Rejected
November 20, 2014, 12:53 PM
Amazon Offers "The Washington Post" Free for Six Months to Kindle Fire Owners
November 20, 2014, 7:41 AM
Apple Watch Screen Resolution, App Limitations are Laid Bare by Developer Kit
November 19, 2014, 11:31 PM
Apple Replaces “FREE” Label with “GET” on App Downloads in iTunes App Store
November 19, 2014, 5:38 PM
Most Popular Articles
Wal-Mart: Miss Thanksgiving, Get Xbox One + Master Chief Collection for $299
November 17, 2014, 9:40 PM
Nokia Lumia 635 LTE Windows Phone is Only $40 at Best Buy on Black Friday
November 18, 2014, 11:59 AM
Sweden Mulls Labelling "Sexist" Video Games in the Wake of Gamergate
November 17, 2014, 2:00 PM
It's Official: Twitter is Profitable "Junk"
November 16, 2014, 10:45 PM
Austrian Pilots Call Surface 3 Pro Flight Bag a "Dream Come True"
November 14, 2014, 2:00 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information