Mind-reading computer may help coma patients speak out their mind
Coma patients answering "yes" or "no" when asked? That might be possible in the near future as researchers from the University of Western Ontario in Canada developed a computer that can read minds and may one day help communicating with patients in comatose.
The team led by Lorina Naci, postdoctoral fellow at the Brain and Mind Institute of Western, conducted a study titled "The Brain's Silent Messenger: Using Selective Attention to Decode Human Thought for Brain-Based Communication" and published their findings Wednesday in The Journal of Neuroscience.
In the study, the researchers utilized neuroimaging to interpret human thoughts when asked questions and providing specific answers. The results of the study may pave the way for new means of trying to communicate with patients in coma.
"The interpretation of human thought from brain activity, without recourse to speech or action, is one of the most provoking and challenging frontiers of modern neuroscience. In particular, patients who are fully conscious and awake, yet, due to brain damage, are unable to show any behavioral responsivity, expose the limits of the neuromuscular system and the necessity for alternate forms of communication," the abstract of the study summarized.
During the experiment, the participants were asked to focus on specific answers such as "yes" or "no" in response to simple questions such as "Do you have brothers and sisters?" or "Are your married?"
The participants were not allowed to utter their answers but just focus and think about their response.
"This novel method allowed healthy individuals to answers questions asked in the scanner, simply by paying attention to the word they wanted to convey. By looking at their brain activity we were able to correctly decode the correct answers for each individual," Naci explained through a press release.
Naci shared the information that most of the volunteers in the research conveyed their replies in roughly three minutes while doing a brain scan. She said this window is perfect if experts want to communicate using brain-computer interfaces.The researchers were also able to decode 90 percent of the answers based on the brain activity demonstrated by the volunteers.
"The strengths of this technique, especially its ease of use, robustness, and rapid detection, may maximize the chances that any such patient will be able to achieve brain-based communication," the lead researcher expounded.
Naci and her colleagues are trying the technology and technique to communicate with non-responsive patients that are possibly misdiagnosed patients in vegetative state.
Robots Recruited To Teach Kids In China And Canada
In China and Canada, AI-driven robots have been recruited to help teach kids learn things in the classroom. The well-researched machines have been proving to be significant additions in the lives of young children.
U.S. Cellular Is Now Offering New Plans With Unlimited Text And Data
Consumers and small businesses can now get unlimited data with U.S. Cellular for as low as $40 per line for lines or just $60 per month for a single line with autopay/paperless billing enrollment.
Deep Brain Stimulation Shows Potential In Anorexia Therapy
Considering the continuous efforts to spread awareness to the adverse effects and the nature of Anorexia, have scientists just found the answer to the said medical condition? What's the truth behind claims that deep brain stimulation is allegedly showing promising results in anorexia therapy? Here's what experts have to say
More Woes Hound Canadian Health Care System
The Canadian Health Care System is facing major challenges that might put the safety of its people, especially the senior citizens, in great risk.
Despite Speculations, Selena Conveys A Reticent Shout-Out For The Weeknd's Birthday
Selena Gomez, despite earlier rumors, gives current boo, The Weeknd, a Silent Birthday Shout-out on her Instagram Account.
MORE IN ITECHPOST
Beyond Queen's Stomp-Stomp-Clap: Concerts and Computer Science Converge in New Research
The iconic "stomp-stomp-clap" of Queen's "We Will Rock You" was born out of the challenge that rock stars and professors alike know all too well: How to get large numbers of people engaged in participating during a live performance like a concert -- or a lecture -- and channel that energy for a sustained time period.
Using Waves to Move Droplets
Self-cleaning surfaces and laboratories on a chip become even more efficient if we are able to control individual droplets. University of Groningen professor Patrick Onck, together with colleagues from the Eindhoven University of Technology, has shown that this is possible by using a technique named mechanowetting.