Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Brain-Computer Interface Makes Learning As Simple As Waving

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the just dept.

Medicine 37

vinces99 writes "Small electrodes placed on or inside the brain allow patients to interact with computers or control robotic limbs simply by thinking about how to execute those actions. This technology could improve communication and daily life for a person who is paralyzed or has lost the ability to speak from a stroke or neurodegenerative disease. Now researchers have demonstrated that when humans use this brain-computer interface, the brain behaves much like it does when completing simple motor skills such as kicking a ball, typing or waving a hand (abstract). That means learning to control a robotic arm or a prosthetic limb could become second nature for people who are paralyzed."

cancel ×

37 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Pffftt! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43982561)

I already saw this jack-in thingy you speak of in the original Matrix.

need to have conetlo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43982563)

without conetlo this would never work, i mean, speaking and suddenly your thoughts are heard? no way jose for me

CRYSTALLINE-CLEAR-CIRCUITRY (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43982579)

is this the missing link for the shark-attack investigation in Sharm-El-Sheik?
It is understood that the ex-President was held there for some time at the Pyramid-Hospital

Upgrade 2.0 (1)

mitcheli (894743) | about a year ago | (#43982637)

Now this is cool. I can finally be competitive in track. I just need to upgrade my legs to the faster version. :)

Re:Upgrade 2.1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43982711)

always be wary of "Statist-of-the-arts" medical procedures.
If an electrode is implanted in a specific place, whats to stop a crystalline-chain from phorming and tapping the electrode? results are insane

Re:Upgrade 2.1 (1, Offtopic)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43983377)

results are insane

I infer that you're one of the results.

Re:Upgrade 2.1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44008733)

well, for a one-liner, thats a huge re-snort. You may be referred to the MIT micro-machine program of the early `90`s, and "keep in mind" micro-scale, although normally invisible, is HUGELY larger than nano-scale. So a question might be posed something like, have you ever seen a nanocrystal growing, and if so, could you detect a pattern, and if detection was had, are your synapses firing in order, and if not, have you considered adjusting the gap? Oh shoot, the warranty on my electron-microscope expired!

Title is misleading clickbait (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43982655)

Title is misleading clickbait

Re:Title is misleading clickbait (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about a year ago | (#43982695)

Certainly not. This is work ( see the "Author affiliations" part in the abstract ) by respectable scientists from a respectable US State university.

Re:Title is misleading, switch baits (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43982737)

MIT (purportedly "respectable") released studies on micro-pulleys, micro-cabling, and micro-gearing in the early nineties.
Micro-scale tech (adaptable for medical application) OVER TWENTY YEARS AGO; Why is there no public diclosure regarding micro-implantation over the last 20years? Why no disclosure on cloned Chinese apples nano-scale growths/formations/assemblies (since the faux-Foxcomm scandal)?

More than likely, the potential public good will be restricted due to covert applications.
IP anyone?

Re:Title is misleading clickbait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43982745)

Sou toy claim the title is misleading fundingbait?

Re: StanfordPrisonBait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43982775)

Its all in the "experimental" stage...
WHO funding?

Re:Title is misleading clickbait (4, Informative)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#43982749)

The title is very much misleading, as per usual.

/. Title: Brain-Computer Interface Makes Learning As Simple As Waving
Article Title: New tasks become as simple as waving a hand with brain-computer interfaces.

Now, University of Washington researchers have demonstrated that when humans use this technology – called a brain-computer interface – the brain behaves much like it does when completing simple motor skills such as kicking a ball, typing or waving a hand. Learning to control a robotic arm or a prosthetic limb could become second nature for people who are paralyzed.

It's not about learning, it's about an interface that makes controlling a robotic arm as easy as if it were your actual arm. Big difference.

Re:Title is misleading clickbait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43984163)

It's not about learning, it's about an interface that makes controlling a robotic arm as easy as if it were your actual arm. Big difference.

And how long will it be before the U.S. government perverts this into a weapons system, like the movie Firefox where weapons are controlled by thought.

Re:Title is perversion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44008795)

Yup, but they dont sell it as "weapons" they sell it as "do-away-with-torture-we-read-minds-electronically"
ask anyone like Rahm Emmanuel where they put the money!

Re:Title is misleading clickbait (2)

Jawnn (445279) | about a year ago | (#43984281)

The title is very much misleading, as per usual.

And here I thought I was finally going to be able to utter the phrase, "Whoa! I know Kung-Fu."

Re:Title is misleading clickbait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43995739)

Not only that but if it were about learning, waving is incredibly HARD to learn and do. It takes years of dedicated pratice to learn how to do a well controlled move with a limb. It seems easy since you already know how to do it, but that is the same with anything.

Re:Title is misleading clickbait (1)

Baby Duck (176251) | about a year ago | (#43985679)

It most certainly is. The title implied a device lets me learn with the simplicity of waving. When you read the article, I still couldn't learn say, calculus, by doing something as simple as repeating the same motor function over and over again. The phrase "making learning" sans qualifiers is terribly misleading. It makes you think the notion of learning itself -- not learning a specific skill or subject matter -- is the benefit of the interface. The proper title should be "New Brain-Computer Interface Makes Learning To Use Robotic Limbs As Simple As Thinking About Waving".

Misleading headline (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43982697)

"Brain-Computer Interface Makes Learning As Simple As Waving"

And here I was thinking of learning Kung-fu Matrix style :(

Re:Misleading headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43982903)

"Brain-Computer Interface makes enslaving people easier than ever!"

Where do I sign up?

Re:Misleading headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43986319)

Came here looking for the obligatory "I know Kung-fu". Was not disappointed.

Wrong focus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43982823)

The article seems to be highlighting that thinking about movement to achieve control in a BCI is some sort of breakthrough. I when I started my PhD on the subject in 2005 that was a well established fact. It's called motor imagery and although it's been too long since I've finished my research to remember the actual citation, I think it's been established since at least the early nineties.

hand waving (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43982869)

This is not the Brain-Computer Interface you are looking for...

glory to the many (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43982905)

"Look at you, Hacker. A pathetic creature of meat and bone. Panting and sweating as you run through my corridors. How can you challange a perfect, immortal machine?"

Re:glory to the many (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43984029)

By becoming one ...

but... (1)

houbou (1097327) | about a year ago | (#43983389)

imagine what one can do when one isn't paralyzed and yet can also work with these inputs...

Re:but... (2)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#43984257)

imagine what one can do when one isn't paralyzed and yet can also work with these inputs...

Like watch their muscles atrophy because now they won't even have to pick up the remote to change channels or play video games?

Waving isn't all that simple (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#43984253)

Waving isn't truly simple. Look how long it takes an infant to "learn" how to to control the muscles to wave their arm. Just because we do it without thinking doesn't mean we should trivialize what a stroke victim may have to go through, even with brain implants.

as simple as waving (2)

shadowrat (1069614) | about a year ago | (#43984667)

remember how easy it was to learn to wave? it only took years. Remember how long it took to learn to kick a ball? maybe 10 - 12 years.

Re:as simple as waving (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43984733)

You know how to kick a ball?! This is news for nerds, showoff. Get back to the locker room with the jocks.

Re:as simple as waving (1)

jmcwork (564008) | about a year ago | (#43985947)

But it did get easier. I made it through Advanced Waving in about 6 months.

Terrible title (2)

azav (469988) | about a year ago | (#43985311)

That is a VAST overgeneralization.

If it made "learning as simple as waving", I'd wave myself some organic chemistry or advanced thermodynamics courses.

learning to control BCI not misleading (3, Informative)

mandginguero (1435161) | about a year ago | (#43986095)

Compared to other BCI's, this does sound like the easiest to learn to control. Some of the other fastest versions rely on what are called steady state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) which rely on entraining your visual cortex to the same frequency as a flashing light on a computer screen. Once entrained, deviations by looking at other parts of the screen can be detected. This however leaves you with fairly few options for different commands on the screen at a given time. Another one of the faster acquisition BCIs is based on the P300 brainwave. These work typically for selecting a character from a grid of letters/numbers on a computer screen. The computer will cycle through all the characters, flashing each one for a brief moment. The user's task is to focus on the character they'd want, and when it comes up flashing, the brain has a slightly stronger response about 300 milleseconds afterwards. While both the SSVEPs and P300 systems only take about 10-15 minutes to figure out how to use (compared to 6-8 hours for learning to control a brain rhythm like the mu wave), they leave very few options in terms of commands you could execute.

On to the practical side of controlling artificial limbs by thinking about them, this is missing a crucial piece of the puzzle - feedback! How well could you close your cyborg hand around a fragile plastic cup without dropping it or smashing it if you can't 'feel' the surface and the flexibility of your object in hand? Executing the movement is indeed fancy, but to do it well you'll need to implant some more electrodes in the parietal cortex where you map body sensations, which connect reciprocally with the motor representations of the same body parts. Also, this would likely only work for someone who becomes paralyzed or loses a limb. Those with congenital problems, unless turned into a cyborg during infancy, would never develop the proper representations of limbs they don't own/can't use.

Re:learning to control BCI not misleading (1)

mandginguero (1435161) | about a year ago | (#43986115)

Oops, I meant rather than just implanting electrodes in parietal cortex for execution, you need to provide them feedback from the device.

Re:learning to control Banksters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44008865)

wheres the nano-finance in this? is it a secret?

Bring it On! (1)

Dareth (47614) | about a year ago | (#43988159)

I am a total MENTAL athlete!!!

I can "think" faster than I can move. I want my mind controlled exoskeleton now!

Re:Bring it On! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43993427)

Agreed, if I could be fully upgraded to be far faster and stronger then any human, roided out or not would be quite a tempting tradeoff to the loss of the ability to feel anything with my hands and feet.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?