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
came here for the picture
6/14/2013 6:13:20 AM
there must be a movie picture that captures this tech...
"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
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
No Free Play Day for You! Microsoft Says Apparent Promotion was an Error
August 22, 2014, 2:50 PM
BlackBerry Passport to Feature Snapdragon 800 Processor, 3,450 mAh Battery
August 22, 2014, 2:05 PM
Moto X+1 Press Renders Leak, New Images Show Schematics for 4.7", 5.5" iPhone 6
August 22, 2014, 9:52 AM
BlackBerry’s Latest "Plug" for its Passport Smartphone: Displaying Sharp X-rays for Doctors
August 21, 2014, 4:49 PM
Sprint Introduces $60 Unlimited Plan, Touts $20/Month Costs Savings Versus T-Mobile
August 21, 2014, 2:05 PM
Opera Becomes Official Browser of Microsoft-Nokia's Non-Windows Phones
August 21, 2014, 1:01 PM
Most Popular Articles
Lumia 830 Gets Major Upgrades Including New 20.1 Megapixel Toshiba Sensor
August 15, 2014, 6:00 PM
GM Concedes That the Cadillac ELR Doesn’t Really Compete with the Tesla Model S
August 15, 2014, 5:42 PM
Apple Scores Patents, Preps New Reversible USB Plug for iPhone 6 Connector
August 18, 2014, 1:32 PM
New AMD Fusion-Based Laptop From HP to Pack a Punch at $199
August 18, 2014, 4:13 PM
BlackBerry Reinvents Itself, Prepares for Potential Smartphone-Free Future
August 18, 2014, 7:51 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information