Sunday, July 1, 2012

Mind Read: Typing With Your Brain

Scientists at Universiteit Maastricht have developed a new method that allows people who cannot speak and/or move to communicate via typing but without actually using a keyboard! In fact, the communication happens without moving a muscle or speaking a word.


image explaining how letters are obtained from brain using mri
Image source: Current Biology
The scientists have devised a mechanism that monitors the flow of blood in the brain using MRI , and associating the captured images with the letters of the alphabet. The setup requires patients to look at the letters on a screen for a specified amount of time. Once that is done, they can immediately start to "type". This allows natural brain to machine communication to take place - encoding thoughts letter by letter and thus enabling back and forth communication in case of absent motor behavior.


This method has been successfully tested on patients, however it is far from being practical as of now - patients don't have MRI machines installed at their homes. But, the idea right now is to keep testing and collecting more data, ultimately developing a setup that would be much more portable and easier to use.


Hit the source links to read more about this amazing technology.


Source: Science Daily, Current BiologyGizmodo

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