Move a Mouse Cursor With Your Brain

Humans have been striving to control things with their brains since time immortal, but why use your hands on a keyboard and mouse when you could use your mind to direct your computer? A team of researchers from UCLA and Caltech have developed a way for epilepsy patients who’ve had electrodes implanted intracranially (inside their skulls) to control a computer mouse.

The research team determined that humans can exert conscious control over specific neurons in our brains, and after some training, control a cursor or the brightness of an image on a screen via the implanted electrodes.

While this technology is a little far away from “You Are the Controller” (are you willing to have electrodes implanted inside your head so you can play Call of Duty with your mind as the input device?), it shows great promise for allowing individuals with neurological conditions to gain control of their computers, and maybe even prosthetic limbs down the road.

What differentiates this technology from something like the Star Wars Force Trainer? That game uses your ability to concentrate and focus on generating different brain waves (alpha, beta, gamma, delta) to move a sphere, while this research out of Southern California uses the firing of individual neurons. What would you do with a neuron-controlled computer? Sound off in the comments!

[Caltech and Nature via Engadget]

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Alessondra Springmann will pass on having electrodes implanted in her skull, but she does have a video of her brain. Follow her and Geek Tech on Twitter.

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