Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Next: Translating brain activity signals into driving and other computer-assisted interactions



The car pow­ered by your MIND: BMW i3 nav­i­gates a track using noth­ing but its dri­ver’s brain waves (Dai­ly Mail):

Con­trol­ling cars with your mind may sound like some­thing from a sci­ence fic­tion film but this futur­is­tic idea has just become a real­i­ty. Experts have mod­i­fied a BMW i3 elec­tric car so it can be dri­ven remote­ly using just a per­son­’s thoughts

The team replaced the dri­ver’s seat of the BMW with a mechan­i­cal rig capa­ble of press­ing the ped­als and turn­ing the steer­ing wheel on com­mand. A dri­ver was then fit­ted with an elec­troen­cephalog­ra­phy (EEG) neu­ro head­set to mon­i­tor their brain activ­i­ty while being trained to remote­ly dri­ve the car. This train­ing involved think­ing left, think­ing right, think­ing about going for­ward and stop­ping.

Instead of sim­ply think­ing about these actions and move­ments, how­ev­er, such train­ing typ­i­cal­ly involves asso­ci­at­ing a spe­cif­ic men­tal image with each com­mand. For exam­ple, the soft­ware can be trained to asso­ciate a per­son think­ing about a float­ing bal­loon with turn­ing left. Each time the per­son thinks of the float­ing bal­loon their brain sig­nals are the same, and it is these sig­nals that are ‘trans­lat­ed’ into com­mands…

At this year’s Mobile World Con­gress in Barcelona, the Insti­tute of Elec­tri­cal and Elec­tron­ics Engi­neers (IEEE) and Aus­tralian-based Emo­tiv demon­strat­ed a rac­ing game that uses sim­i­lar tech­nol­o­gy. A ‘dri­ver’ was wired up to Emo­tiv’s elec­troen­cephalog­ra­phy (EEG) head­set and the device was trained to read their unique brain pat­terns.”

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  1. Kilroy says:

    Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the EEG does not record brain neu­ron activ­i­ty. The EEG is actu­al­ly an elec­tromyo­g­ra­phy that records facial mus­cle neu­ron activ­i­ty, which is help­ful since the sig­nal strength is much high­er.

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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