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Scientists One Step Closer To Controling Brain Electric Signals

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Scientists One Step Closer To Controling Brain Electric Signals

Scientists from Michigan School of Kinesiology are one step closer in harnessing the power of brain electric signals, making moving for paralysed patients not a such a distant dream. Scientists at the school, along with their partners from the Swarz Center at the university of California have invented a method that allows researchers to study and isolate, brain electric signals during body movement.

This invention is considered a key component of a future computer-brain device that could make movement possible for paralysed patients. The patient thinks about moving a limb and a robotic exoskeleton performs the movement. Surely this is not possible in the near future but, it is nevertheless a huge leap forward in understanding the exact brain activity during movement according to Joe Gwim , paper first author.

Using this tool, scientists can now see which parts of the brain are active when a subject moves naturally and map the electric signals. For example when a subject is walking, signals are “born” in a certain area of the brain and are transmitted to the muscles. This valuable information could then be used by scientists for different geographic applications. Until know the human brain electric signals could only be quantified using non-moving subjects.

Brain Activity

Brain Activity

Scientists, mapped the brain activity they were interested in, using several sensors attached to a subject who was waking or running. The information gathered from the sensors was then correlated with a MRI scan of the head in order to detect the area from which the electrical activity initially originated.

The method is quite revolutionary in many ways, as no one has managed to record the brain’s electric signals during movement up until now. The military seems to be also interested in testing this kind of technology that could optimize a soldier field performance by constantly monitoring his brain electric activity and determining when the soldier is at his best.  In fact, virtually any industry could benefit from a better understanding of how the human brain works in different scenarios.