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 Machine Reads Abstract Thought

This story is from the category The Brain
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Date posted: 09/07/2004

In a major breakthrough for wetware <=> hardware interfaces, particularly those of virtual, and prosthetic limbs, some of the signals from abstract brain cells have been accurately decoded - enough to use them.

Working with monkeys, researcher Richard Andersen and colleagues at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena recorded signals from neurons used when the monkeys were making certain movements, then used a computer system to crunch out the core signals used from all of them - those were the ones determining movement.

These decoded signals - from the abstract cells - were then used to predict the monkeys' arm movements before the process actually got as far as the monkeys moving their arms - the abstract cell values were read before they reached the actuators.

Using this technique, researchers expect to be eventually able to tie prosthetics and virtual bodies into the brain's natural body movement signals, greatly reducing the time spent by the patient in trying to move their new limb.

neuroprosthetics have been used before now, to connect directly tro the brain, and read off specific patterns from the brain used to then control devices. However, this is the first time anybody's actually succeeded in reading the natural values of the higher neurons - dealing with thought and motivation - directly.

See the full Story via external site: www.betterhumans.com

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