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New research paves the way to begin developing a computer you can control with your mind

Date:
October 21, 2015
Source:
University of Royal Holloway London
Summary:
A team of researchers has been able to predict participants' movements just by analyzing their brain activity. This study is the first human study to look at the neural signals of planned actions that are freely chosen by the participant and could be the first step in the development of brain-computer interfaces.
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The research is the first human study to look at the neural signals of planned actions that are freely chosen by the participant and could be the first step in the development of brain-computer interfaces.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Royal Holloway London

A team of researchers led by Angelika Lingnau, from the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London has been able to predict participants' movements just by analysing their brain activity.

The research, which is published in the Journal of Neuroscience, is the first human study to look at the neural signals of planned actions that are freely chosen by the participant and could be the first step in the development of brain-computer interfaces.

Dr. Lingnau and her team used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while participants planned and performed simple hand movements inside the scanner. Crucially, participants freely chose which of three hand movements to select. Using machine learning algorithms, the researchers then determined whether they were able to predict which movement the participant was going to perform on the basis of the brain activity measured during the planning phase.

Dr Lingnau said: "We are very excited by our findings because it is the first time a human study of this kind has been carried out where the participants were able to choose a movement by themselves and were the only ones who knew what they had planned to do. We were successfully able to predict what action they were going to carry out just from analysing their brain signals."

"This opens up huge possibilities for the future including the development of technology you can control with your mind as well as enabling the development of methods for helping those with paralysis to have direct brain control to the affected areas."


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Royal Holloway London. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Giacomo Ariani et al. Decoding Internally and Externally Driven Movement Plans. Journal of Neuroscience, October 2015

Cite This Page:

University of Royal Holloway London. "New research paves the way to begin developing a computer you can control with your mind." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 October 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151021083642.htm>.
University of Royal Holloway London. (2015, October 21). New research paves the way to begin developing a computer you can control with your mind. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151021083642.htm
University of Royal Holloway London. "New research paves the way to begin developing a computer you can control with your mind." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151021083642.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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