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Space Science

Two Heads Are Better Than One For Brain-Computer Interfaces 57

Posted by samzenpus
from the come-together dept.
FatLittleMonkey writes "My mind to your mind... my thoughts to your thoughts... Researchers at the University of Essex have shown that combining the output from two non-invasive 'brain-computer interfaces,' computer-interpreted EEG signals, led to a much clearer signal of the subjects' intention than the output from a single subject. To test this idea, they had two subjects try to steer a simulated space-ship at a target planet, by thinking of one of eight possible directions. While a single user could achieve 67% accuracy, this jumped to 90% when two minds were combined. Researchers believe the technique also compensates for individual lapses in attention, and thus may have applications in real-world space missions."
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Two Heads Are Better Than One For Brain-Computer Interfaces

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    If I'm thinking it, you're probably all thinking it too:
    with the addition of another brain it became "crowd intelligence" or "crowd sourced" and is now sufficiently buzzword compliant.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by vlm (69642)

      If I'm thinking it, you're probably all thinking it too:

      yeah the little head teams up with the big head to surf for the best pr0n...

      with the addition of another brain it became "crowd intelligence" or "crowd sourced" and is now sufficiently buzzword compliant.

      Oh. Yeah. That too.

  • Wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by Kjella (173770) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @03:21PM (#42779861) Homepage

    I think they just proved that 0.33*0.33 = 0.10.

    • by Brad1138 (590148)
      I knew I read /. for a reason!
      • So this mind-reading contraption has two helmets, one that goes on my head, and the second goes on my penis, and somehow this provides more reliable results than just using the single one on my head?

        Now that's using my dick!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Or that P(A) * P(B) = P(A and B), which isn't always true if A and B are correlated.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Thats why everyone told you to use that equation for independent random variables only :P

    • by pesho (843750)

      "It is difficult to stay focused on the task at all times. So when a single user has momentary attention lapses, it matters. But when there are two users, a lapse by one will not have much effect, so you stay on target,"

      They correlate inputs from two pilots to improve accuracy, but at the same time in the quote above they assume that the inputs from the pilots would not correlate. Its is not like two pilots in a jet liner would miss something as big as their destination airport. [go.com]

      • Re:Wow (Score:5, Funny)

        by foobsr (693224) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @04:43PM (#42780319) Homepage Journal
        Its is not like two pilots in a jet liner would miss something as big as their destination airport.

        Not always.

        http://spantax.webs.com/rodolfobay.htm [webs.com] - Quote: "In May 1967, Spantax had received bad press in Germany. To counteract this Rodolfo Bay decided to fly a flight from Palma to Hamburg with German press on board to get good press for the airline. Unfortunately he landed at the wrong airport in Hamburg."

        Yes, it is true, I lived in Hamburg that time. They had big trouble to get the bird into the air again as the runway was way too short.

        CC.

      • But then, what if both inputs are totally divergent. How would they correlate them?
        I think they should free some space in the cockpit for a 3rd pilot...

        • by pesho (843750)
          This is not going to help much, especially if the choice is not binary. Of course you can vastly increase the number of pilots to reduce the noise. But then again it may just turn into something like this [house.gov].
  • by Brad1138 (590148) <brad1138@yahoo.com> on Sunday February 03, 2013 @03:23PM (#42779873)
    I saw a TV program that showed electrodes connected to one person. That person was able to move an avatar around a 3D environment. Sure doesn't seem like they have come very far...
    • by DirtyLiar (796951)

      Wow! Now I can play Ultima ][ with just my mind!

    • by Ihlosi (895663)
      I saw a TV program that showed electrodes connected to one person. That person was able to move an avatar around a 3D environment. Sure doesn't seem like they have come very far...

      20 years ago, it was fake. Today, it actually works.

  • A positive use for Tasmanian's. Explanation for non Australians found here http://www.utas.edu.au/library/companion_to_tasmanian_history/T/Tas%20reputation.htm [utas.edu.au]
  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @04:01PM (#42780107) Homepage

    While a single user could achieve 67% accuracy, this jumped to 90% when two minds were combined.

    Meanwhile, a lone monkey with an hour's training, a penchant for bananas, and a joystick achieved 99% accuracy.

  • Pacific Rim: Jaegers (Score:3, Interesting)

    by laughingman4929 (1249696) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @04:05PM (#42780131)
    Finally, the giant robots in Pacific Rim make some sense... http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=2vKz7WnU83E#t=61s [youtube.com]
  • By future space missions, they mean for steering rovers (from ta): But don't hold your breath, says JPL senior research scientist Adrian Stoica. "While potential uses for space applications exist, in terms of uses for planetary rover remote control, this is still a speculative idea," he says.

    Of course they would have to weigh this against the benefits of giving the rovers better ai for moving from place to place.

  • This would only be a surprise if people would all use their brain differently. On this level, they do not. No surprise here.

    • by jythie (914043)
      That is one of the hot questions in neurology, and one that is far form settled. We still do not have a good idea of how the details vary from person to person... so while perhaps not a 'surprise', it is far from a given.
      • by gweihir (88907)

        Anything they do does require they can calibrate on a single individual. Just taking measurements from two individuals (with each their own calibration) will always be better. That has nothing to do with neurology, that is just signal processing 010.

  • http://www.universiteitgroningen.nl/fmns-research/theobio/events/_pdf/ma_eanatureneuro06.pdf [universiteitgroningen.nl]
    tells us that Bayesian inference with probabilistic population codes works best if the two channels/ two brains are spiking with a Poisson distribution.

    Talking about bable fish ... didn't Zaphod Beeblebrox think like that too. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zaphod_Beeblebrox [wikipedia.org]
  • by mianne (965568) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @04:45PM (#42780335)

    Or are both pilots going to be texting and surfing for pr0n with the assumption that the other one is taking control?

    "It must have been a computer glitch which caused us to run out of fuel and crash into the Atlantic on our flight from Houston to Toledo."

    • by AVee (557523)
      Welcome to 'Democratic Airways', the airline which frees you from the dictatorship of pilots.
    • Or are both pilots going to be texting and surfing for pr0n with the assumption that the other one is taking control?

      "It must have been a computer glitch which caused us to run out of fuel and crash into the Atlantic on our flight from Houston to Toledo."

      You haven't got much faith in people have you? You must be a manager :)

    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      If the people running my company's operations is any indication, they're not only going to be jerking off, they're going to be blaming the shortcomings on the working person...

  • ... let my little head do the thinking when I'm surfing for pr0n.

  • That two antenna's are like 1 larger (more sensitive) antenna.

  • Hands free porn surfing!

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