Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brain controlled robotic arm: Scientists read out arm movements from brain's surface

Date:
June 21, 2012
Source:
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Summary:
Interfaces between the brain and a computer could be the key to a more independent life for patients with severe paralysis: Devices that transform the mere thought of a movement into a command for a robotic arm or a cursor on a screen. Scientists have now utilized the brain activity associated with an arm movement recorded from the surface of the brain to steer a cursor in real-time.

Scientists read out arm movements from the brain’s surface.
Credit: BCF/Universität Freiburg

Interfaces between the brain and a computer could be the key to a more independent life for patients with severe paralysis: Devices that transform the mere thought of a movement into a command for a robotic arm or a cursor on a screen. Scientists from the University of Freiburg and Imperial College London now utilized the brain activity associated with an arm movement recorded from the surface of the brain to steer a cursor in real-time.

Related Articles


Tomislav Milekovic and his colleagues report these findings in the latest edition of the Journal of Neural Engineering.

Surprisingly for the scientists, electrodes covering an area of only two square centimetres were sufficient to decode the movement signal. As a result, brain-machine interfaces could be implemented with small, easily implantable electrode arrangements. The current study describes the decoding of two movement directions. For the authors, the next step is to use finer electrodes and a longer training period to decipher movements in any direction and also more complex movement patterns. This will be a significant research component in BrainLinks -- BrainTools, the University of Freiburg's newly awarded Cluster of Excellence.

The scientists received the permission to conduct an experiment from epilepsy patients who had electrodes placed on the brain temporarily for diagnostic purposes. The test persons used a joystick to move a dot on a screen either to the left or to the right, while the scientists measured the activity in the brain region responsible for movements. Thus, the computer could learn to correctly read out the brain activity. When the subjects moved the joystick in a second test run, the decoded activity itself was used to control the dot's movement. Despite the short duration of training, due to the patients' medical treatment, the movement direction was decoded correctly in up to 86 percent of the test runs.

Of special importance, state the scientists, is the kind of electrodes used in the approach developed in Freiburg. The measuring sensors are not implanted into the brain, as was the case up to now. Instead, they are only placed onto the brain surface. Thus, the risk of injuring the brain is greatly reduced, although an operation is still necessary. Another advantage of this novel method is that the signals won't change over time -- a phenomenon caused by tissue reactions when electrodes protrude into the brain.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tomislav Milekovic, Jörg Fischer, Tobias Pistohl, Johanna Ruescher, Andreas Schulze-Bonhage, Ad Aertsen, Jörn Rickert, Tonio Ball, Carsten Mehring. An online brain–machine interface using decoding of movement direction from the human electrocorticogram. Journal of Neural Engineering, 2012; 9 (4): 046003 DOI: 10.1088/1741-2560/9/4/046003

Cite This Page:

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. "Brain controlled robotic arm: Scientists read out arm movements from brain's surface." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120621112537.htm>.
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. (2012, June 21). Brain controlled robotic arm: Scientists read out arm movements from brain's surface. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120621112537.htm
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. "Brain controlled robotic arm: Scientists read out arm movements from brain's surface." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120621112537.htm (accessed April 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Judge OKs 65-Year Deal Over NFL Concussions

Judge OKs 65-Year Deal Over NFL Concussions

AP (Apr. 23, 2015) — A judge has approved a potential $1 billion plan to resolve thousands of NFL concussion lawsuits filed by retired players. The NFL expects 6,000 of nearly 20,000 retired players to suffer from Alzheimer&apos;s disease or moderate dementia someday.(April 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research Says Complex Tools Might Not Be 'Our Thing' Anymore

Research Says Complex Tools Might Not Be 'Our Thing' Anymore

Newsy (Apr. 21, 2015) — The use of complex tools has often been seen as a defining characteristic of humanity, but that notion is now in question. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) — Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) — Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. 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

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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