Brain- Computer Interfaces

Computers have become a big part of most people’s lives. They’re evolving more and more in the direction of becoming a part of us, an extension of ourselves.

Wearables provide us information and allow communication with anybody, everywhere we go. Most often they are used to interpret touch, gesture or voice as expressions.

Another option is direct brain control. EEG can be used to translate the electrical activity, resulting from current flow in the brain, into commands for a computer (see “the EPOC“).

To control e.g. mouse cursor, the thought of moving it has to occur consciously. The process is not very fast, but the technology can definitely be valuable for paralyzed people and probably for gamers who want this extra input to enhance their experience.

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Another form of connection between the brain and a device, is the hypothesis that TMS  to the left temporal lobe of the brain can induce savant like skills in people with healthy brains. Professor Allan Snyder, director of the Centre for the Mind at the University of Sydney, is one of the people who have been researching this topic and demonstrated the results.

These two areas of research hint towards the possibility that “thinking caps” might be common for future wearable technology. Technology can truly enhance what humans are capable of and the opportunities seem endless. Now I’ll stop writing and switch my thinking cap to relax mode.