Monkey Moves Cursor by Thinking
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Thread: Monkey Moves Cursor by Thinking

  1. #1
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    Monkey Moves Cursor by Thinking

    I think this is amazing. I'm sure some people here will find this article as interesting, and possibly as scary as I do.
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    A monkey with a fingernail-size brain implant moved a cursor on a computer screen just by thinking the latest in a series of experiments that have raised hopes that paralyzed people might one day be able to control complex devices with their minds.

    While humans have already been implanted with a similar device that allows control of a cursor, the set of thin wires used by the Brown University researchers is less bulky and worked by measuring fewer neurons.

    Three rhesus monkeys were given the implants, which were first used to record signals from their motor cortex an area of the brain that controls movement as they manipulated a joystick with their hands. Then those signals were used to develop a program that enabled one of the monkeys to continue moving the cursor with its brain.

    During dozens of trials over several months, the monkey moved the cursor just by thinking and used it to touch dots that appeared on the screen, earning orange juice as a reward, said John Donoghue, chairman of neuroscience at Brown.

    The results are promising enough that the device could one day be used on humans, the researchers reported in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature. They would not speculate on how long that might take.

    Anything that can be controlled with two- or three-dimensional coordinates can be controlled by similar implants, Donoghue said.

    "Anything you can imagine can be engineered. What can you do with point-and-click navigation on the Internet?" he said.

    In 1998, researchers at Emory University in Atlanta reported that a paralyzed man was able to control a cursor with a cone-shaped, glass implant, using it to operate a voice synthesizer that allowed him to communicate.

    The key advance in the Brown study is that the researchers were able to use fewer neurons between seven and 30 to control the cursor, said Sandro Mussa-Ivaldi, a Northwestern University professor and staff member of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

    Mussa-Ivaldi said the glass cone implant is bulkier, but its advantage is that brain cells grow around the glass, holding it in place.

    In November, Duke University researchers reported they had wired the brains of monkeys to control robotic arms. When the monkeys reached for food or manipulated a joystick, the robotic arms mimicked those motions.

    Duke researcher Miguel Nicolelis, who was involved in the robotic arm research, said similar work has also been done with rodents.

    As for transferring the implant technology to humans, "I always estimate these transfers as somewhere between five and 10 years, but it's very encouraging," Nicolelis said. "It now shows in rodents and in monkeys that this is feasible. It gets us very much on the track to potential applications in humans."

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2002Mar13.html
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  2. #2
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    Wow, thats amazing... being able to control something just by thinking... That is scary

  3. #3
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    Originally posted here by ac1dsp3ctrum
    Wow, thats amazing... being able to control something just by thinking... That is scary
    Why? It's already been done in two cases. AOL and Microsoft turned numbers of people into mindless sheep. Now MSN is doing it....<grin>

    Seriously though. Very interesing article. Possibilities abound with this one. Good and bad....
    The COOKIE TUX lives!!!!
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  4. #4
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    Hehe, Good point p2p

  5. #5
    Webius Designerous Indiginous
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    Resistance is futile. Prepare for assimilation. Seems like were getting closer and closer to the goal of being a superhuman. I can see this technology working years from now allowing humans to plug directly into a computer. The matrix is sounding more and more like a reality. A human pluging into a computer to use the computers resources for our thought processes. What do you guys think?

  6. #6
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    that is truely an amazing step foward for crippled people although i don't think it did much for the monkeys.
    Bukhari:V3B48N826 The Prophet said, Isnt the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man? The women said, Yes. He said, This is because of the deficiency of a womans mind.

  7. #7
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    Question

    Considering the recent advances in hearing implants for the deaf and seeing implants for the blind this can only be a good thing. I, for one, am looking forward to plugging in, instead of logging on. I just can not wait for skill wires and mathematical coprocessors.
    I agree with the head of the MIT Computer science department when he says that computers are not user-friendly. That is why so many researchers are working with voice recognition and haptic interfaces. Just another step to true interaction.
    Random Chance Favors The Prepared Mind

  8. #8
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    That's amazing I would never think that would be possible. It will probably become wireless. It's a great advance for the cripples, but you know the millitary will get their hands on that technology one way or another. The gun changed society as we know it, think what this will do...

  9. #9
    Webius Designerous Indiginous
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    Unhappy Oh God

    I just had a really disturbing thought. If this goes the way I think it will. (Wireless controlls from someones mind to a piece of hardware) Does that mean that in the future we will all be connected somehow. And furthurmore does that mean that someone could HACK INTO YOUR MIND!! MIND CONTROLL?!? This is really begining to scare me. Think what would be possible. The army of the worlds with computer controlled people to fight with. Mind control making people do with what you will. This would be really scary.

    But on the brighter side, we would all have great jobs securing peoples heads.

    "Does anyone know the best mind firewall out there?"

  10. #10
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    and you all thought that Prof. Xavier's (x-men) mind controlling power was purely science fiction...
    \"Welcome to the real world...it sucks. Your gunna love it.\'\"

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