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“Brain-controlled cursor doubles as neural workout”

“Harnessing brain signals to control keyboards, robots or prosthetic devices is an active area of medical research.  Now a rare peek at a human brain hooked up to a computer shows that the two can adapt to each other quickly, and possibly to the brain’s benefit.”

UW CSE’s Raj Rao, his grad student Kai Miller, and a team of researchers looked at signals on the brain’s surface while using imagined movements to control a cursor.  Electrodes attached to the surface of the human brain show that imagining movements to control a computer cursor generates larger-than-life brain signals in less than 10 minutes of training.

“People have been looking at imagined movements as a way to control computers for a long time. This study provides a glimpse of the underlying neural machinery,” said Rao.

Read the full paper in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences here.

Read the UWeek article here.

February 16, 2010