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Medical Interfacing the brain with technology?

  1. Jan 31, 2009 #1
    Has anyone tried doing it or has done it? Do you think it will be possible to interface the human brain with a computer some day?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 31, 2009 #2


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    It has been tried, see for example this thread: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=279472

    It's not very sophisticated yet though, and I think it will be some time before it gets really applicable... seeing as AFAIK the brain is still one of the least understood things of this world :smile:
  4. Feb 1, 2009 #3
    Yes it has been done. There is a company formerly called cyberkinetics (they recently changed their name and I can't remember the new one) which is running clinical trials for a cortical read-out device called "brain-gate": http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.03/brain.html?pg=4

    You can find some interesting videos from these clinical trials on youtube.
  5. Feb 1, 2009 #4
    It would be neat if we could attach some external memory device, have a thought, and store it in that device(Like an external hard drive!) Also if information could be loaded into our brains and learned instantly, like the matrix!
  6. Feb 1, 2009 #5
    Indeed, these things would be cool. I wish I had some idea how to do them! :tongue2:
  7. Feb 4, 2009 #6
    There are currently studies which enable disabled people to 'speak' through a computer which learns their individual brain activation patterns (usually through EEG, but I think also through fMRI) for intended communication. There's a group in the University in Berlin who are specialising in this. The problem is that brain imaging doesn't really allow sufficient resolution to have anything other than pre-loaded sentences which are sufficiently different in their activation patterns (e.g. highly emotive vs non-emotive). However, I have had the pleasure of controlling a mouse on a computer screen moving left to right and clicking based on me thinking about moving either my right or left arm (without actually moving).

    A more successful method which could be considered linking the brain and a computer is eyetracking, good resolution eyetracking can tell exactly where someone is looking and also quite a bit about their levels of attention, see for example the european network of excellence www.cogain.org.
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