[unrev-II] Fwd: Re: BBC program 'Future Fantastic' on brain-cyberspace interface

From: Jack Park (jackpark@thinkalong.com)
Date: Fri Jul 20 2001 - 17:57:18 PDT

  • Next message: Henry van Eyken: "Re: [unrev-II] Fwd: Re: BBC program 'Future Fantastic' on brain-cyberspace interface"

    >Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2001 17:05:59 -0700 (PDT)
    >From: Gottfried Mayer <gmayerkress@yahoo.com>
    >Subject: Re: BBC program 'Future Fantastic' on brain-cyberspace interface
    >To: gbrain@listserv.vub.ac.be
    >Sender: owner-gbrain@listserv.vub.ac.be
    >Reply-To: gbrain@listserv.vub.ac.be
    >thanks for the BBC news alert. I would like to provide some background since
    >the BBC people apparently didn't do their journalistic homework about
    >brainwaves and their control. (Thanks to the Internet it is easier to
    >do a little fact-check yourself.)
    >First of all the person they feature, Andrew Junker, doesn't really claim to
    >use brainwaves to control gadgets (at least he didn't in the latest of his
    >publications that showed up in a google search). He says:
    >"The Cyberlink(tm) System is controlled by the voltages found on the
    >surface of
    >the forehead.
    >When the muscles of the body contract a corresponding voltage can be detected
    >on the surface of the skin. "
    >So maybe I am wrong and BBC talks about a brand new version but if you watch
    >the show, check if they mention how he does it. The signal from the muscles in
    >your forehead are much stronger than the EEG brainwaves, and real
    >brain-researchers go through a lot of efforts to avoid those "muscle
    >because it messes up the brain wave signal. So what you really need to do with
    >his device is to learn how to make funny faces and learn how your muscle
    >activation controls the gadget. I mean that might be helpful for people who
    >cannot use their arms but it might cheaper (and more honest to them) if you
    >give them an interface where they can use, say, their lip or tongue muscles
    >over which you have much more control than your frowning muscles in the
    >If you want to play with a device that at least does a power-spectrum and has
    >some nice display, you can buy a
    >"brain wave controller" at IBVA TECHNOLOGIES,
    >INC.http://www.ibva.com/IBVA%20docs/default.htm (US$ 1400 for one channel).
    >It does not correct for muscle artifact so you also end up making funny faces.
    >(I had their two channel model and I tried
    >it with students to control video games.)
    >At the Gbrain-0 workshop I mentioned to Ben Houston that the only device that
    >uses truly brainwaves and that has been shown to
    >work with locked-in patients who no longer can make funny faces has been
    >developed by Niels Birbaumer's group. See the ABCNews report and a scientific
    >Using Brain Waves to Talk, Paralyzed Patients Use Special Computers, 24 March
    >The thought translation device: a neurophysiological approach to communication
    >in total motor paralysis.
    >Kubler A, Kotchoubey B, Hinterberger T et al
    >Exp Brain Res 1999 Jan;124(2):223-32
    >Ben, maybe you can post a link to the sources that you had mentioned, I'd be
    >curious to find out more how they do it.
    >Anyway, enjoy the BBC show ... with a grain of salt.

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