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Mind-Operated Computer for Spinal Cord Injury

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    Mind-Operated Computer for Spinal Cord Injury

    Mind-Operated Computer for Spinal Cord Injury

    Tool in Development Could Help Paralyzed Patients Communicate

    By Miranda Hitti
    WebMD Medical News Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD
    on Monday, December 06, 2004

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    Dec. 6, 2004 -- A mind-operated computer may one day help people with spinal cord injuries communicate. It may sound like science fiction, but such a device already exists. It's in its infancy, but early tests suggest that it could be the wave of the future.

    The brain-computer interface was recently tested by researchers including Jonathan Wolpaw, MD, of New York State's Department of Health. They recruited four participants, two of whom had spinal cord injuries.

    Participants wore a cap embedded with electrodes that picked up brain waves and transmitted them to a computer. The computer changed these electrical signals into output that conveyed the user's intent. A program identified the brain waves that people could best control and used them to move a cursor to a target on a computer screen.

    The high-tech gadget worked. All the participants

    Cap Harnesses Human Thought to Move PC Cursor

    Cap Harnesses Human Thought to Move PC Cursor

    Stefan Lovgren
    for National Geographic News
    December 7, 2004

    Scientists have developed a non-invasive brain-computer interface that enables a person to move a cursor across a computer screen just by thinking about it.
    The device resembles a swimming cap riddled with electrodes, which users wear against their scalp. A computer program translates electrical signals in the brain to physical outputs, which govern the movement of a computer cursor.

    The technology could enable people paralyzed by spinal cord injuries and strokes, for example, to control their brain activity in order to communicate via computer or to move mechanical devices.