EBM and Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC

A blog for medical students, faculty and librarians about their use of evidence based medicine, clinical literature, Web 2.0, sources and search strategies

Robotic, News: Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) and Second Life

Nicholas G. Carr writes a blog entitled Rough Type which is funny, irreverent and Web 2.0 news-oriented. I have added his site to my Blogroll.

He recently wrote about Second Life avatars and human interactions on a project being developed jointly by IBM and Linden Labs. Following is an excerpt of Mr. Carrs’ post dated Oct 12 2007:

“The system consists of a headpiece equipped with electrodes that monitor activity in three areas of the motor cortex (the region of the brain involved in controlling the movement of the arms and legs). An EEG machine reads and graphs the data and relays it to the BCI, where a brain wave analysis algorithm interprets the user’s imagined movements. A keyboard emulator then converts this data into a signal and relays it to Second Life, causing the on-screen avatar to move. In this way, the user can exercise real-time control over the avatar in the 3D virtual world without moving a muscle. And here’s the video to prove it.

It’s official. There is no longer any reason to get out of bed in the morning“.

The software modeling brain-computer interactions within virtual environments is currently being developed in Tokyo by Keio University Biomedical Engineering Laboratory. Here is the main webpage for Keio University.

This is a technology that could be further developed for use by patients with mobility, gait or balance issues stemming from cardiovascular accidents, brain trauma or organic neurological impairment.

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