Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Stephen Hawking could communicate through the power of thought.

A device the size of a matchbox called iBRAIN, could help English physicist Stephen Hawking, paralyzed by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis effect, to communicate the power of thought.
iBRAIN is a new generation of portable devices and neural algorithms designed to monitor and diagnose certain conditions such as apnea, depression and autism. Invented by a team of scientists led by Philip Low, chief executive of NeuroVigil, the device stands out as a possible alternative to expensive techniques used in laboratories for sleep research.
Using a single channel for collecting electrical signals the brain that changes depending on the activity and thought, but according to the pathologies that accompany certain mental disorders, the invention can collect data in real time when the patient lies in bed or watching television.
To decipher the most difficult where, passing through many winding ("cute") of the brain and then the skull, Dr. Low has created an algorithm, called Spears, back in 2007.
"The idea was to see if Stephen can use his mind to create a consistent and repeatable model that a computer can translate it in a word, letter or command," said Low. To implement this experiment, Low and his team traveled to Cambridge, Stephen Hawking's office. They asked him to use iBRAIN physicist and imagine that playing with a ball in his right hand. Although scientist can not move your hand, the motor cortex can issue the command generating electric waves in the brain. Algorithm was able to judge the thoughts physicist as signals and signs to represent them as a grid.
"Our intention was to see if there are any changes in signal and that is what I observed," said Low. Now intends to repeat strudiul NeuroVigil a larger population of individuals suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.
Source: New York Times

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