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 Researchers use brain interface to post to Twitter

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Date posted: 21/04/2009

In early April, Adam Wilson posted a status update on the social networking Web site Twitter -- just by thinking about it.

Just 23 characters long, his message, "using EEG to send tweet," demonstrates a natural, manageable way in which "locked-in" patients can couple brain-computer interface technologies with modern communication tools.

A University of Wisconsin-Madison biomedical engineering doctoral student, Wilson is among a growing group of researchers worldwide who aim to perfect a communication system for users whose bodies do not work, but whose brains function normally.

While widespread implementation of brain-computer interface technologies is still years down the road, Wadsworth Center researchers, as well as those at the University of Tubingen in Germany, are starting in-home trials of the equipment. Wilson, who will finish his Ph.D. soon and begin postdoctoral research at Wadsworth, plans to include Twitter in the trials.

Williams hopes the Twitter application is the nudge researchers need to refine development of the in-home technology. "A lot of the things that we've been doing are more scientific exercises," he says. "This is one of the first examples where we've found something that would be immediately useful to a much larger community of people with neurological deficits."

See the full Story via external site: www.news.wisc.edu



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