Wednesday, December 08, 2004

'Thinking Cap' Controls Computer in New Experiment

Four people were able to control a computer using their thoughts and an electrode-studded "thinking cap".

U.S. researchers reported on Monday. They said their set-up could someday be adapted to help disabled people operate a motorized wheelchair or artificial limb. While experiments have allowed a monkey to control a computer with its thoughts, electrodes were implanted into the animal's brain. This experiment, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, required no surgery and no implants.

"The results show that people can learn to use scalp-recorded electroencephalogram rhythms to control rapid and accurate movement of a cursor in two dimensions," Jonathan Wolpaw and Dennis McFarland of the New York State Department of Health and State University of New York in Albany wrote.

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