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Brain-Computer Interface Works With Speech Centers 58

Scottingham writes "Science Daily reports on new research that uses electrodes placed in the speech centers of the brain to move a cursor around the screen. Participants were instructed to utter different vowel sounds while their neural activity was parsed and analyzed. Once analyzed and connected to a cursor-control program, participants quickly learned to use the different vowel sounds to move a cursor around a screen. The system can distinguish between actual speech and the cursor controlling thought sounds."
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Brain-Computer Interface Works With Speech Centers

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    aiauiieuuoauoieaaeaauiaaaeiiooaoieaoouieuo uuiaieueouuuoeeeuaeaoaaueeiouoieoiiuoaieoo ieaeiuiuoeaoiaoiauauoeiauoauuiaauiaioieioooi

    Or something approximate to that?

    • by 3vi1 ( 544505 )

      From the summary: "The system can distinguish between actual speech and the cursor controlling thought sounds."

    • Went to the witch doctor, here's what he said to his PC...

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      I tried to pronounce that, and now there's four humpback whales who want to mate with me trying to bash down the door of my vacation suite here. Decisions decisions.

    • I used translate.google.com to translate that from Finnish and it's a URL shortener pointing to goatse.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Couldn't they just use a microphone? Isn't that preferable to drilling a hole in one's head and inserting electrodes into his brain?

    • by seepho ( 1959226 )
      Think of it more as an exercise in dynamite testing, rather than hole digging.
    • Couldn't they just use a microphone? Isn't that preferable to drilling a hole in one's head and inserting electrodes into his brain?

      This system does not require them to speak at all. They merely have to think of the vowel sounds and the cursor will move accordingly.

    • Let's face it, this research is geared toward users with disabilities. A microphone works for some of those people but not all. From TFA,

      "There are many directions we could take this, including development of technology to restore communication for patients who have lost speech due to brain injury or damage to their vocal cords or airway," says author Eric C. Leuthardt, MD, of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

      (emphasis added)

      • by mldi ( 1598123 )
        Oh come on, you don't think it'd be hella cool to have completely silent conversations? No more riding in the elevator with the jackass yapping loudly into his "bluetooth".
        • No, then we'd have to put up with *silent* jackasses waving their arms about without the *slightest* idea of what they are going on about.
    • If you read the article (Shocking I know), you would know that this is aimed at people who, becasue of either brain injury, or injury to to the vocal system, can't speak. The long term goal is to allow the user to "speak" with a computer voice using the same brain impulses as they would to speak normally. The ability to move to a mouse around is just a stepping stone.

    • by danlip ( 737336 )

      It works even if the user can't speak. it would be extremely useful for someone like Stephen Hawking.

      • by Narpak ( 961733 )
        To hell with Hawking! When can I use this to play Battlefield?!
        • When can I use this to play Battlefield?!

          "Admin, the commander is spamming teamchat with Moose mating calls"
          *USMC has initiated a recall vote.*

  • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @03:53PM (#35749672)
    Firefox 6: In order to play games on the latest incarnation of its web browser, the UI requires that you must think in Russian [youtube.com], not merely think in English and then translate into Russian. Sure, it's a PITA, but the graphics are pretty sweet.

    Can you do that, Dr. Leuthardt? :)

  • Cubicle Mate: "Ooooh . . . aaahhhh . . . uuummmm . . . " Me: "Shut up, God dammit!" Cubicle Mate: "Hey, I'm just using this new technology to move the cursor around the screen." Me: "Well, what this technology needs, is some of that week old pizza, with the green stuff growing on it shoved down your throat!" Cubicle Mate: "hmmmfhj kdkfdd . . . sdfeffff . . ."
  • You can just imagine the new X-Box controller manual. “Just force the electrodes in to the side of you skull as shown in the diagram ...” :0)
    • You can just imagine the new X-Box controller manual. “Just force the electrodes in to the side of you skull as shown in the diagram ...” :0)

      Use RoHS solder to connect DB9 Cannon plug to electrodes. Connect pin 1 to positive and pin 8 to negative. Disregard this if your brain is a positive ground model.

  • You know what? This is awesome. The other day I was a little down and pessimistic that the aught years didn't really seem to have the leaps and bound of progress that decades in the previous century did. I mean, jets, radar, space travel, computers, the Internet, medicine, manufacturing, plastics and other materials. I dunno, maybe I wasn't paying attention or something. But it seems like between 2001 and 2010, the biggest move forward was lolcats and smartphones. And for as awesome as smartphones could be
    • If anything, it's more fitting to be depressed because space travel has advanced far, far less over the last 50 years than just about anything.

      But no, the last decade did bring a fair bit of innovation, I think. Just a few things...

      On the Internet front, not much technically new, but last decade is when it truly became widespread globally, instead of being largely limited to a few rich Western countries. From 2000 to 2010, Europe went from 105 million to 475 million Net users. Mideast went from 114M to 825M

      • hmmm. Well you're right, we had progress in cybernetics, DNI, memristors, quantum computing, stem-cells, and I just remembered the magic that is carbon-nanotubes. There is certainly potential there and hope for the future.

        As for actual REALIZED progress, as opposed to potential progress, from your list all I can really get behind is 3D printing. Which is awesome. It was one of those things I thought was pure science fiction until I saw it for myself.

        I just can't feel excited about gadgets. CTR to LCD
    • Beware of Monsters From The Id, Dr.Morbeus.
    • Waiting for ST:tNG to start, I caught a clip on TMZ where some celebrity had a robo-cast that uses ultrasonic pulses to stimulate bone repair. There's some neat tech out there these days.
      • My mother used this. She broke her ankle and it wasn't healing right. The doc prescribed a device that emits an ultrasonic pulse. You know, like ultrasound looking at babies, but with no sensor. That's not, you know, super-science. The astonishing part is that it seems to help bones repair themselves.

        That is, indeed, kind of a neat scientific advancement.

        Unfortunately, it's completely offset by the fact that the device prescribed to my mother was $12,000. With insurance, it cost my father $200. It has b
    • I think everything is going so slow because of our inability to harness and store energy.. Battery Technology advances has been holding everything back. I'm sure there are many other factors. It may not even be going slow.. just a lot of "hard to see" stuff going on..
  • Any time a friend sends me a whisper that reads: wwwwssdadsws111112wwwwww
  • Vowel sounds? There's only one vowel in WASD...

  • Anybody thought about "Burnt Toast" when they saw the pic in the article?

  • Who volunteered for that lab study?

    Earn $1000 in one week and get free brain surgery to boot!!!
  • Yet another excuse for cubemates to mutter incoherently at their computers...
  • My dream of grunting like a caveman to control my computer is realized...
  • Could this help people with stuttering? I hope so.
  • ...how awesome it would be to be able to record what you think. As a musician, I would be able to just imagine a song playing and it would be recorded without the need of being transcribed. Simply amazing, but probably just a dream.
  • If I'm having difficulty with my mouse, I'll just have electrodes implanted in my brain! Why not? The government says it will save me in just about every other way imaginable, too!

    Sounds like a plan to me. But I think I'll make a plan B. And C and D. Just in case.

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.