View Full Version : Brain sensor allows mind-control in Future Games ?

July 13th, 2006, 19:23
News from BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/5167938.stm)

A sensor implanted in a paralysed man's brain has enabled him to control objects by using his thoughts alone.
The experimental set-up allowed the man, who has no limb movement at all, to open e-mail, play a computer game, and pinch a prosthetic hand's fingers.

The US team behind the sensor hopes its technology can one day be incorporated into the body to restore the movement of paralysed limbs themselves.

The Massachusetts-based team's study is published in the journal Nature.

It's just wild

Matthew Nagle

Matthew Nagle, 25 at the time of the trial, was left paralysed from the neck down and confined to a wheelchair after a knife attack in 2001. He was the first patient to try out the brain sensor.

A team of scientists inserted the device, called a neuromotor prosthesis (NMP), into an area of the brain known as the motor cortex, which is responsible for voluntary movement.

The NMP comprises an internal sensor that detects brain cell activity, and external processors that convert the activity into signals that can be recognised by a computer.

See how the system works
Although the patient's spinal cord had been severed for three years by the time of the trial, the scientists found that brain cell activity - or neural firing patterns - persisted in the patient's motor cortex.

The electrodes in the NMP were able to record this activity and send it to a computer. The computer then translated the firing patterns into movement commands which could drive computer controls or artificial limbs.

Regained independence

Using the device, Mr Nagle was able to move a computer cursor to open an e-mail, play simple computer games, open and close a prosthetic hand, and use a robot limb to grasp and move objects.

Mr Nagle said the sensor had restored some of his independence by allowing him to carry out a number of tasks - such as turning the lights on - that a nurse would normally do for him.

He told the BBC: "I can't put it into words. It's just wild."

Lead researcher Dr Leigh Hochberg, a neurologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital, said: "One of the exciting results from the trial is that this part of the brain, the motor cortex, could still be activated voluntarily by this gentleman with spinal cord injury.

"The fact that this activity was still there, despite the injury that had occurred several years ago, is very encouraging for our potential ability to harness those signals to control an external device."

Co-author Professor John Donoghue is director of the brain science programme at Brown University and chief scientific officer of Cyberkinetics, the company that created and trialled the sensor.

He said: "The results hold promise to one day being able to activate limb muscles with these brain signals, effectively restoring brain-to-muscle control via a physical nervous system."

The sensor is inserted directly into the brain
The team also looked at a second, 55-year-old patient, but said technical issues meant the sensor could not record brain activity.

Professor Stephen Scott, from Queen's University, Ontario, Canada, said in a related article: "This research suggests that implanted prosthetics are a viable approach for assisting severely impaired individuals to communicate and interact with the environment."

But he warned that considerable problems needed to be overcome before this technology could be put into regular use.

He said problems such as the device's longevity, infection risks, and data transfer methods needed to be looked at.

Tested too early?

Professor Igor Aleksander, an expert in neural systems engineering at Imperial College London, UK, said: "I think this is enormously important stuff because there is real potential for helping people that have had severe neural disabilities."

But Professor Miguel Nicolelis, a neurobiologist from Duke University, was critical of the research.

He told the BBC's Science in Action programme that although some positive signs had been seen for one patient, the paper showed that the technology did not work in the second, older patient.

He said: "When you decide, like this company did, to go into clinical trials for an invasive technique the stakes are very high.

"They should have demonstrated something that lasts for a long period of time, that it is reliable and safe, and that it can restore much more elaborate functions. I don't think that this paper shows that.

"I think it was too early to use this kind of technology in this kind of clinical trial."

Is Mind Control the future of games ?

July 13th, 2006, 19:34
sweet... Do you think they could take it a little further and make a video game that could put you into "the matrix". That would be the ultimate video game. Just imagine the possibilities...

July 13th, 2006, 19:36
Wow, psychic movement of objects using your mind? unlikely.

July 13th, 2006, 19:50
i think the games would get too easy
but it i would like it :)

July 13th, 2006, 20:10
Its amazing how far technology has advanced. Just over 60 years ago we didnt even have computers yet. Now were controlling them with our thoughts. "It's just wild"!!

July 13th, 2006, 20:12
Hey I got something to say about this. This may be a new technology but it's not a new idea or the 1st time this has been implimented in a game.

Back in like '93 I was in the West Edmenton Mall (like back when DonkeyKong for SuperGB just came out)
and I played a videogame and drew a picture with my mind using this finger sensor for a computer!

It was REALLY hard to control at 1st but after a while you got the hang of it kinda. The guy at the store explained how it worked kinda like a lie detector (which was also one of the showcase features) he was very good at using it. I kept on veering off to the left in most games/prog I tried.
I think that it probobly never picked up cuz it's hard to figure out or maybe not very applicable cuz games demand on mouse alone was more than this could handle. I just thought this was a neat thing to mention.

This new method of implanting looks pretty sweet if you ask me. I'd get one WAY faster than a tatoo or piercing. What will you tell your kids when they ask you for cyborg augmentations just so they can play the 'Sega Revival? lol =p.

July 13th, 2006, 20:49
oh cool, now wireless, not cable on the head, lol

July 13th, 2006, 21:10
Yes, I think we'll see this kind of thing in games eventually. If there's enough profit potential for it, that is. If you have to mortgage your house to get the implants, probably no one would care.

July 13th, 2006, 21:22
Ehh i dont see it happening anytime soon, the stakes are very high to get it implemented because they have to drill a hole in your head and put a chip on your brain :rolleyes: then theres the risk of an infection as ti said...or if somrthing else went wrong you may be mental challenged for the rest of your lofe

anyway, i also think it would take the challege out of the game, and it would be neat if there werent risks involved

July 13th, 2006, 22:07
"open e-mail, play a computer game, and pinch a prosthetic hand's fingers."
Holy ****! Anyone freaked at the prospect of being "chipped?"

Not really in a conspiracy theory type of way, I mean say this was applied in a way related to business like being able to do ridiculously fast data entry, weapons control, remote control of heavy machinary.
Now imagine being a normal human not wealthy enough to be chipped and being at a disadvantage to people who have been?

July 13th, 2006, 22:17
you would have to be mental in the first place to put a chip in your brain just to play video games. lol, maybe if we figured out how to unlock the WHOLE potential of our brains we wouldnt need a chip.

July 13th, 2006, 23:07
maybe if we figured out how to unlock the WHOLE potential of our brains we wouldnt need a chip.

or games....

Hungry Horace
July 14th, 2006, 00:13
oh man, doctor who was right!!!

f**king upgrade me!!! if it's upgrade or death, i know which i'm going for.


July 14th, 2006, 01:04
Yeah, you're excited now, but then you'll be all pissed off when you're one of the first to get ghost hacked (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_in_the_Shell_%28film%29) because of an exploit in the firmware. :)

July 14th, 2006, 01:24
this is old news... like 6 months old... and yes he was able too check his email, use IM, and play pong at 75% accuracy...

July 14th, 2006, 01:27
he he.
matrix will be the first game it will come if this happends XD

July 14th, 2006, 01:30
oh man, doctor who was right!!!

f**king upgrade me!!! if it's upgrade or death, i know which i'm going for.

LOL, I'm not gonna get a Brain Chip made by Sony that's for sure...
Sony will force you to update too often and eventually you will become a brick! :p

July 14th, 2006, 01:38
sorry for double posting im on my psp... but just think of the day your gov. not only knows where you are at all times but can read your thoughts and intentions!!! how "SAFE"!!!!!

July 14th, 2006, 11:34
Maybe you dont believe me but i already got this Idea 1,2 years ago xD. I think in next Generation Games every Finger and Muscle of the GameCharakter should be able to be moved, ofcourse this would be very hard to controll with Keyboard and Mouse, So why not controlling with Brain :D? Its Crazy stuff but I think they can bring out a Stable version of this Controlling thing sometime.

July 14th, 2006, 13:55
No way.

Anyone that would seriously concider brain surgery just for somthing like this?

Theres no way man.

I can promise you guys two things about this.

promise no.1 There will never be chips in my head. Promise no.2 Im so terrified at the idea of brain surgery even if it where in an attempt to save my life, I would most likey choose death before i trusted anyone enough to let them open my head up.

July 14th, 2006, 13:59
You'd rather die than have a chance of dying?

July 14th, 2006, 14:10
Yes, As sad as it sounds, Ive got a friend who had brain cancer, he has had sevral surgeries, every operation he has, even tho it give him more life, He cries a lot becuse he sais he doesnt feel real, and has ceasures most of the time :( it's admited that the operations saved him a lot of pain and linghtened his lifespan, But the operations have also damaged his motor skills and nervious system.

The question is, Would you want to be alive if you where traped in a constantly warped reality, where your very own preceptions and motor skills have been damaged by brain surgery?

Thats not to say that his cancer didnt play its part in all of this, But the very idea terrifies me. And ive given it thought, Yes i would rather die then let someone work on my brain....

July 14th, 2006, 15:03
its not "Pshycic" its just reading brain waves thru a wire connected to a computer.

July 15th, 2006, 03:40
Personally, I can't wait to be a cyborg. I'll leave all you humans in the dust, post humanity here I come!!

July 15th, 2006, 20:11
It's kind of like the Strogg chip, but it worked the other way around...

and who needs brain surgery? Why not just get up and walk, with your sins forgiven?

p.s. you WANT to be a cyborg? have you played Quake 4, or even quake 2? YOU WANT TO BE A STROGG!?!?!?

July 15th, 2006, 20:37
Wow, psychic movement of objects using your mind? unlikely.

thats not what this is about

ps applying this to videogames for all of us nerds.... is the last thing they are worried about....

July 16th, 2006, 03:31
This is like what they used for the paralyzed Spartans in the Spartan II project!!!!

July 19th, 2006, 03:16
I think this argument has been settled conclusively in an early episode of Sealab 2021. :D