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 July 24, 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 July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme

Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme

AP (July 23, 2014) Six people were indicted Wednesday in an international ring that took over more than 1,000 StubHub users' accounts and fraudulently bought tickets that were then resold. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Reviews Are In For The Amazon Fire Phone

The Reviews Are In For The Amazon Fire Phone

Newsy (July 23, 2014) Amazon's first smartphone, the Fire Phone, is set to ship this week, and so far the reviews have been pretty mixed. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bigger Apple Phone, Bigger Orders

Bigger Apple Phone, Bigger Orders

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 22, 2014) Apple is asking suppliers to make 70 to 80 million units of its new larger screen iPhone, a lot more initially than its current model. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:
from the past week

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