Western secular, Judeo-Christian science and culture. Healing the sick. Increasing our abilities. Relieving suffering. Breaking new ground. Acting on genuine compassion for the down-side of the human condition.
By Darren Quick
02:19 June 29, 2012
Researchers have developed technology that automatically decode distinct brain patterns to allow individuals to spell out sentences (Image: Shutterstock)
Researchers at Maastricht University in The Netherlands have developed a device that gives a voice to those who are completely unable to speak or move at all. Building on previous work using functional magnetic imaging (fMRI) technology, which allowed individuals to give yes/no responses or answer multiple-choice questions, the new approach allows for full, unscripted back-and-forth conversations.
FMRI is a non-invasive technique that measures brain activity by detecting the changes in blood oxygenation and flow that occur in response to neural activity. It has previously been used to assess consciousness in people described as being in an unconscious, vegetative state and enable them to answer yes/no questions. This was then expanded to allow individuals to answer the equivalent of multiple-choice questions having four or fewer possible answers.