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New research promoted the NIH Shows that any complex visual images can be manipulated on a computer screen with the use of only the mind. The study that was published in Nature found that the brains of the research subjects were connected to a computer which displayed two merged images which forced the computer to discard one of the images and display the other image. Each of the subject’s brain transmitted a signal to the computer which was just derived from a handful of brain cells.
The study’s lead author, Itzhak Fried, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of neurosurgery at the University of California, Los Angeles said, “The subjects used their thoughts to override the images which are seen on the computer screen”. In part, the study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Institute of Neurological Disorder and Stroke(NINDS). Both are part of NIH.
The Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) is a device through which computer and other devices can be controlled with the thoughts of people. The study reflects progress in the development of Brain-Computer Interfaces. The BCIs promised to help the paralyzed individuals to interact and control prosthetic limbs. This BCI Technology was mostly used as a tool for understanding how the processing of the information takes place by the brain and sharpening the thoughts and decisions by the combined activity of single brain cell.
Debra Babcock, M.D., Ph.D., a program director at NINDS said, “This is a novel and graceful use of a Brain-Computer Interface to explore how the brain is directing attention and making choices”.
A computer was informed to focus on Michael or Marilyn by the subjects mentally.
A man was shown about pictures of Michael Jackson and Marilyn Monroe while thinking in the study by Cerf et al.in on October 28, 2010. There was an involvement of 12 people with epilepsy in the study. Their brains were implanted with fine wires for recording seizure activity. The areas of the brains which are responsible for seizure are located by these recordings. The wires are inserted in the medical temporal lobe, a brain region which is useful for memory and able to recognize complex images including faces.
When the recordings were transmitted from their brains to a computer, the research subjects looked like two pictures were superimposed on the computer screen, in which each of the pictures was showing a famous place, thing, person or animal. They were instructed to choose one image as a target and also to focus their thoughts on it until that image was fully seen and the other image was faded away. Every one-tenth of one second, the monitor was updated depending on the input from the brain recordings.
The subjects attempted this game nearly to a total of 900 times as a group, and the monitor was forced to display the target image in 70 percent of these attempts. Subjects tends to learn the task as quickly as they could, and were frequently successful on the first try.