July 1st in Toronto means one thing: a juggernaut of a holiday weekend. The annual Pride Parade falls on the same weekend as the Canada Day holiday, and Interaxoner’s jetted off Friday to celebrate in their own ways.
And there’s been a lot to celebrate lately in BCI and thought controlled computing. The multidisciplinary performance The Ascent made (brain) waves in Brooklyn at it’s launch. For individuals living with locked-in syndrome, two announcements from two different university research groups could change ways of communication. And a video, gone viral, from TEDxMED….
1// The Ascent Takes EEG To A Whole New (Live Action) Level
Our friends at XXXY Projects recently launched the live-action performance installation piece ‘The Ascent’ in Brooklyn. Powered by EEG technology, The Ascent is a multidisciplinary mix of meditation, light show, spiritual simulation, and neuroscience. A participant is strapped into a safety harness, and wears an EEG brainwave sensor headband. As the participant begins to concentrate and meditate, electrical signals are picked up by the brainwave sensor. Combined with the algorithms and custom software designed for ‘The Ascent’, these electrical signals lift the participant as they are asked to concentrate through a series of tests and distractions.
‘Meditate. Levitate’: the call-to-action of the performance is similar to InteraXon’s Telekinetic Chair, a fixture in our office back in 2010. We’re proud of Yehuda and his entire team at XXXY Projects for bringing The Ascent from vision to reality in this amazing event!
2// New Approaches To Communicate With Patients Who Have Locked-In Syndrome
Dr. Adam Wilson at The University Of Cincinnati
Adam Wilson, the first person to send a tweet using only his mind, has been working with the University of Cincinnati to develop communication tools for those with locked-in syndrome. Dr. Wilson has spent over a decade creating a brain computer interface, using an EEG cap, that is compatible with a virtual speller. The screen displays a letter grid, and the BCI highlights the specific letter in the word the patient wants to spell. The interface allows for quick communication and allows the patient to send messages out over a text, or social networks such as Twitter.
fMRI Being Used To Measure Blood Flow & Brain Activity
A team of researchers at the Maastricht University of the Netherlands are working with fMRI to communicate with patients who have locked-in syndrome. Similar to Dr. Wilson’s virtual speller, the researchers have developed a letter encoding system which would allow doctor and patient to have a conversation through brain patterns. With each letter in the system, patients are assisted with completing a cognitive and communicative task. Researchers have been able to analysis the fMRI activity from these letter systems such as corresponding ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers.
“Then subjects and researchers would have a short conversation consisting of two questions and two responses provided by the patients. By the end of their sessions, all patients were able to successfully complete the task – and thus communicate.”
3// Just For Fun
This just-released TED Talk video is from the recent TEDxMED; Miguel Nicolelis, M.D., Ph.D (Duke Center for Neuroengineering) spoke about his teams recent research in the field of brain computer interfaces
The InteraXon news roundup is published weekly, every Sunday night, to recap trends and breaking news in the world of brain computer interfaces and thought controlled computing. Do you have a story you’d like to submit or share? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line “News Story”) or leave a comment here.