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Week 12

The topic I chose to write about is brain-computer interfacing. In other words, it is when someone uses their brain to control computers and or machinery. The University of Washington demonstrated the control of a humanoid robot using invasive brain-computer interface. The system uses an electrode “cap” for sensing brainwaves. These caps sense the electric signals that are created by the neurons in our brain. Neurons are constantly at work, any time we do something. Scientists are able to take the signals that the neurons create and interpret what they mean so that they can be used to give directions to some kind of device.

Brain Image Gallery See more brain pictures.

The “cap” that is used to detect these electrical signals is called an electroencephalograph. For those that have difficultly saying or spelling it, like me, refer to it as the EEG. A computer program interprets the amplified and filtered electrical signals that measure the minute differences in the voltage between neurons.¬†Unfortunately, our thick skulls block a lot of the signals and also cause distortion. A way to get a more direct reception of the electric signals is to implant electrodes directly into the gray matter of the brain beneath the skull. Although this way may produce better results in the beginning, they will eventually have long-term problems.

Here are a few videos to demonstrate how BCI works.

All information was found from these websites:

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/brain-computer-interface.htm

https://www.cs.washington.edu/research/ai/bci/

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