Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Controlling cursors with thoughts: Faster, simpler, and more accurately; advance helps people regulate their own brain response, with therapeutic implications

Date:
November 19, 2010
Source:
Society for Neuroscience
Summary:
Using a new brain-computer training approach, 14 volunteers learned in only six minutes how to move a screen cursor with their thoughts. Near-instant feedback helped the people quickly master some of their own brain responses.

Using a new brain-computer training approach, 14 volunteers learned in only six minutes how to move a screen cursor with their thoughts. Near-instant feedback helped the people quickly master some of their own brain responses.

The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2010, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, held in San Diego.

Researchers have developed a speedier system that allows people to control a cursor with thought alone. Studies show that when people and animals are given feedback about their brain signals, they can gain some control over those signals. It's now possible to acquire that feedback faster than ever before -- in "real time" -- using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which registers blood flow in active brain regions.

"For most of us, most of the time, the ongoing activity of the brain is hidden and not under voluntary control," said lead author Anna Rose Childress, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "Brain feedback studies are changing this long-standing, one-way relationship."

Thought-only cursor control may provide more options for people with "locked-in" syndromes -- in which a person is aware but unable to communicate -- and individuals with brain injuries. Previous trials have also shown that people can learn to control pain using real-time fMRI, and researchers believe this same technique may be applied to other conditions. They theorize that if the structures that underlie these diseases can be controlled, the disease itself can be altered.

The study consisted of two parts: the computer training and the actual cursor control, both inside the MRI scanner. During training, computers learned to recognize two distinct brain patterns in the volunteers. In one, participants were asked to think about hitting a tennis ball. In the second, they imagined moving from one room to another. Each set of thoughts corresponded with activity in specific parts of their brains, which the computer analyzed. The volunteers were then instructed to repeat those same thought patterns and move a screen cursor linked to their brain activity. All the participants were able to move the cursor by alternating their thoughts, creating brain patterns that were quickly recognized by the computer.

Research was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Biomedical Imagine and Bioengineering, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Neuroscience. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Neuroscience. "Controlling cursors with thoughts: Faster, simpler, and more accurately; advance helps people regulate their own brain response, with therapeutic implications." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101116102432.htm>.
Society for Neuroscience. (2010, November 19). Controlling cursors with thoughts: Faster, simpler, and more accurately; advance helps people regulate their own brain response, with therapeutic implications. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101116102432.htm
Society for Neuroscience. "Controlling cursors with thoughts: Faster, simpler, and more accurately; advance helps people regulate their own brain response, with therapeutic implications." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101116102432.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 20, 2014) Scientists in Tokyo have demonstrated what they say is the world's first 3D projection that floats in mid air. A laser that fires a pulse up to a thousand times a second superheats molecules in the air, creating a spark which can be guided to certain points in the air to shape what the human eye perceives as an image. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Protect Against Piracy ... At A Cost

Google To Protect Against Piracy ... At A Cost

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Google is changing its search-engine results to protect content producers from piracy — for a price. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Microsoft will reportedly release a smartwatch that works across different mobile platforms, has a two-day battery life and tracks heart rate. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Spotify Family A Great Deal Or Catching Up?

Is Spotify Family A Great Deal Or Catching Up?

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Spotify Family lets you add a family member to your account for half price. Although users are excited, it's a move competitors have already made. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins