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UMD brain cap technology turns thought into motion
Date:7/27/2011

ysiology in which they successfully used EEG brain signals to reconstruct the complex 3-D movements of the ankle, knee and hip joints during human treadmill walking. In two earlier studies they showed (1) similar results for 3-D hand movement and (2) that subjects wearing the brain cap could control a computer cursor with their thoughts.

Alessandro Presacco, a second-year doctoral student in Contreras-Vidal's Neural Engineering and Smart Prosthetics Lab, Contreras-Vidal and co-authors write that their Journal of Neurophysiology study indicated "that EEG signals can be used to study the cortical dynamics of walking and to develop brain-machine interfaces aimed at restoring human gait function."

There are other brain computer interface technologies under development, but Contreras-Vidal notes that these competing technologies are either very invasive, requiring electrodes to be implanted directly in the brain, or, if noninvasive, require much more training to use than does UMD's EEG-based, brain cap technology.

Partnering to Help Sufferers of Injury and Stroke

Contreras-Vidal and his team are collaborating on a rapidly growing cadre of projects with researchers at other institutions to develop thought-controlled robotic prosthetics that can assist victims of injury and stroke.

Their latest partnership is supported by a new $1.2 million NSF grant. Under this grant, Contreras-Vidal's Maryland team is embarking on a four-year project with researchers at Rice University, the University of Michigan and Drexel University to design a prosthetic arm that amputees can control directly with their brains, and which will allow users to feel what their robotic arm touches.

"There's nothing fictional about this," said Rice University co-principal investigator Marcia O'Malley, an associate professor of mechanical engineering. "The investigators on this grant have already demonstrated that much of this is possible. What r
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Contact: Lee Tune
ltune@umd.edu
301-405-4679
University of Maryland
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3 4 5

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