Machine for pc and macintosh that can read your mind (This is no a joke)

Andrew_R._Mitz arm at helix
Wed Aug 9 09:27:26 EST 1995


fgh (fghfg at fgdfg) wrote:
: I first saw this report on CNN on thursday and then again on their
: WWW site.

: The following is straight off of their WWW page.


: BUT SOON YOU COULD BE USING YOUR MIND TO 
: CONTROL YOUR COMPUTER. 
: THAT'S RIGHT. 
: YOU WON'T NEED A JOYSTICK. AND YOU N'T NEED 
: A KEYBOARD... 
: ALL YOU NEED IS YOUR HEAD. 
: CNN'S GREG LEFEVRE HAS THE STORY. 





: NINE-YEAR-OLD ASHLEY RACES DOWN THE 
: SLOPES. 
: HANDS OFF. 
: NO KEYBOARD. 
: NO JOYSTICK. 
: SHE SHUSHES LEFT AND RIGHT, CONTROLLING 
: THE GAME THROUGH A SENSOR ON HER 
: FINGERTIP THAT IS READING HER MIND. 
: A NEW COMPUTER PERIPHERAL CALLED "MIND 
: DRIVE" READS HER BRAIN WAVES AND GUIDES 
: HER THROUGH THE FINISH LINE. 

The idea of controlling a skiing game using "brainwaves" is not
far fetched.  There are a series of articles from Albany Medical
College and the Wadsworth Center for Laboratories and Research
(and some other affiliated institutions) on the use of EEG for
computer control.  It is primarily a rehab project.  You can
do a literature search for papers with Jonathan R. Wolpaw as
an author.  His name appears on most (all?) of the papers.  
The papers show that one can learn to move a cursor on
a computer screen using "thought" alone.

The commercialized version of EEG control has been on the market
for a year or two.  It come with lots of hype.  It is essentially
a DSP-based processor for EEG.  The primary benefits from using
this device were: better performance in whatever ______ (you
fill in the blank with: sport, profession, hobby, love, etc)
you choose.  Asside from these vague benefits the literature
also included a news blurb from a noted electronics magazine.
Of course, the person who wrote the blurb was just reporting
the sales pitch and had no expertise in neurosciences.

So I assume that another company has some new DSP algorithms
leveraged on the EEG research to date.  If controlling a
ski game that only requires back and forth movement of a
joystick matches the popular idea of mind control, then 
let the world be impressed.  Frankly, I am more impressed
by the brain's ability to control fingers through the 
fine threads of the peripheral nervous system.



Andrew Mitz, Biomed. Eng., National Institutes | Opinions are mine alone 
of Health Animal Center, Poolesville, MD       | arm at helix.nih.gov       
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