Researchers Design a Game Controlled With Mind

Monday, September 4, 2017 - 09:03

Neurable, a small start-up founded by Ramses Alcaide, an electrical engineer and neuroscientist, has designed a game which can be controlled by mind.

The game offers what you might call a computer mouse for the mind, a way of selecting items in a virtual world with your thoughts, the New York Times reports.

Incorporating a headset with virtual reality goggles and sensors that can read your brain waves, this prototype is a few years from the market. And it is limited in what it can do. You cannot select an object with your mind unless you first look in its general direction, narrowing the number of items you may be considering.

Using electroencephalography, or EEG, a means of measuring electrical brain activity that has been around for decades, the company can provide simple ways of mentally interacting with a game. Some companies hope to go much further, and want to build ways of performing nearly any computing task with the mind. Imagine a brain interface for rapidly typing on a smartphone.

The algorithms learn from your behavior. Before playing the game, you train them to recognize when you are focusing your attention on an object. A pulse of light bounces around the virtual room, and each time it hits a small colored ball in front of you, you think about the ball. At that moment, when you focus on the light and it stimulates your brain, the system reads the electrical spikes of your brain activity.

“In the physical sciences, there are physical boundaries,” said Matt Angle, a neuroscientist and the founder of Paradromics. “To think that you’ll be able to blow through fundamental laws by sheer ambition and enthusiasm is naïve.”

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