>Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2001 17:05:59 -0700 (PDT)
>From: Gottfried Mayer <email@example.com>
>Subject: Re: BBC program 'Future Fantastic' on brain-cyberspace interface
>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
>When the muscles of the body contract a corresponding voltage can be detected
>on the surface of the skin. "
>CYBERLINK MINDMOUSE: APPLICATIONS OF BRAIN WAVE COMPUTER CONTROL
>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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