Navigation Links
Taking brain-computer interfaces to the next phase
Date:2/17/2011

You may have heard of virtual keyboards controlled by thought, brain-powered wheelchairs, and neuro-prosthetic limbs. But powering these machines can be downright tiring, a fact that prevents the technology from being of much use to people with disabilities, among others. Professor Jos del R. Milln and his team at the Ecole Polytechnique Fdrale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have a solution: engineer the system so that it learns about its user, allows for periods of rest, and even multitasking.

In a typical brain-computer interface (BCI) set-up, users can send one of three commands left, right, or no-command. No-command is the static state between left and right and is necessary for a brain-powered wheelchair to continue going straight, for example, or to stay put in front of a specific target. But it turns out that no-command is very taxing to maintain and requires extreme concentration. After about an hour, most users are spent. Not much help if you need to maneuver that wheelchair through an airport.

In an ongoing study demonstrated by Milln and doctoral student Michele Tavella at the AAAS 2011 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., the scientists hook volunteers up to BCI and ask them to read, speak, or read aloud while delivering as many left and right commands as possible or delivering a no-command. By using statistical analysis programmed by the scientists, Milln's BCI can distinguish between left and right commands and learn when each subject is sending one of these versus a no-command. In other words, the machine learns to read the subject's mental intention. The result is that users can mentally relax and also execute secondary tasks while controlling the BCI.

The so-called Shared Control approach to facilitating human-robot interactions employs image sensors and image-processing to avoid obstacles. According to Milln, however, Shared Control isn't enough to let an operator to rest or concentrate on more than one command at once, limiting long-term use.

Milln's new work complements research on Shared Control and makes multitasking a reality while at the same time allows users to catch a break. His trick is in decoding the signals coming from EEG readings on the scalpreadings that represent the activity of millions of neurons and have notoriously low resolution. By incorporating statistical analysis, or probability theory, his BCI allows for both targeted controlmaneuvering around an obstacleand more precise tasks, such as staying on a target. It also makes it easier to give simple commands like "go straight" that need to be executed over longer periods of time (think back to that airport) without having to focus on giving the same command over and over again.

It will be a while before this cutting-edge technology makes the move from lab to production line, but Milln's prototypes are the first working models of their kind to use probability theory to make BCIs easier to use over time. His next step is to combine this new level of sophistication with Shared Control in an ongoing effort to take BCI to the next level, necessary for widespread use. Further advancements, such as finer grained interpretation of cognitive information, are being developed in collaboration with the European project for Tools for Brain Computer (www.tobi.com). The multinational project is headed by Professor Milln and has moved into the clinical testing phase for several BCIs.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael Mitchell
michael.mitchell@epfl.ch
41-798-103-107
Ecole Polytechnique Fdrale de Lausanne
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. Miniaturizing memory: Taking data storage to the molecular level
2. Diagnostic Imaging to Deliver Its 11th Annual Webcast of Key Events Taking Place at RSNA 2008
3. Patton Medical Devices Partners With Unomedical to Develop and Market the i-port Advance(TM) Injection Port for People Taking Multiple Daily Injections
4. Gloabl Harvest Initiative: Taking Down Fences To Meet Future Needs
5. WAVE Conference and Exhibition 2011 Taking Products to Market incorporating Micro & Nano Technology
6. Taking Control of Diabetes: Support World Diabetes Day (14th November 2010)
7. Towards zero training for brain-computer interfacing
8. Unprecedented look at oxide interfaces reveals unexpected structures on atomic scale
9. Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Initiates Enrollment in a Phase 1 Study of MM-121, an ErbB3 Antagonist
10. BioMS Medical announces positive interim analysis on phase III trial of dirucotide (MBP8298) for multiple sclerosis
11. Dendreon Initiates Second of Two New Phase 2 Trials of PROVENGE for Prostate Cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Taking brain-computer interfaces to the next phase
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... ... increasingly being developed with Wi-Fi connectivity to reduce the amount of wiring in ... room. In addition, compact mobile devices including infusion pumps, heart and hypertension monitoring, ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... A recent survey conducted by the Weed Science Society ... weed in 12 categories of broadleaf crops, fruits and vegetables, while common lambsquarters ranks ... and Canada participated in the 2016 survey, the second conducted by WSSA. A ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... NetDimensions has been ... Aragon Research Globe™ for Corporate Learning, 2017. , Aragon Research defines Leaders as ... and effectively perform against those strategies. NetDimensions’ ranking as a Leader due to ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Energetiq Technology, a world leader in high ... accommodate its rapid growth. , The renovations at the company’s headquarters in Woburn, ... areas. The expansion includes, a state-of-the-art engineering facility, and a second clean manufacturing ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:5/16/2017)... , May 16, 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( ... online age and identity verification solutions, announced today they ... Conference 2017, May 15 thru May 17, 2017, in ... and International Trade Center. Identity impacts ... and in today,s quickly evolving digital world, defining identity ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... , May 5, 2017 ... just announced a new breakthrough in biometric authentication ... exploits quantum mechanical properties to perform biometric authentication. These ... smart semiconductor material created by Ram Group and ... finance, entertainment, transportation, supply chains and security. Ram ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... ALBANY, New York , April 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... highly competitive, as its vendor landscape is marked by ... in the market is however held by five major ... and Safran. Together these companies accounted for nearly 61% ... majority of the leading companies in the global military ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):