Brain machine interfaces

Has anyone followed the elevated publicity around "Brain Machine Interfaces" lately? i.e., at Duke U. a motionless macaque has been improving its control of display-screen feedback from a computer-enhanced robot-arm-grip which itself first 'learns' to correlate joystick inputs from the monkey with motor cortex signals from 150 implanted neural sensors:

http://www.popsci.com/popsci/medicine/article/0,12543,576464,00.html

Elsewhere:
http://www.wired.com/news/medtech/0,1286,61889,00.html?tw=wn_story_top5

This convergence of neuroscience and sensing/processing technology suggests the rewards are accelerating, at least in DARPA's eyes.

Is it appetizing that modest technology improvements in neuro-sensors, signal processing, and pattern-recognition MIGHT begin to discern some complexity of actual flows of neural processing within &or across various regions of brains of select species?

Is it likely that such analyses may rapidly and reliably discern any processing patterns resembling heirarchies, levels, loops, networks, or other signal models, at least within local regions?

Trying to read more than fiction from this science,

JimB

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[From Rick Marken (2004.01.17.0830)]

Has anyone followed the elevated publicity around "Brain Machine
Interfaces" lately? i.e., at Duke U. a motionless macaque has been
improving its control of display-screen feedback from a
computer-enhanced robot-arm-grip which itself first 'learns' to
correlate joystick inputs from the monkey with motor cortex signals
from 150 implanted neural sensors:

I saw a show about it on TV. At first glance it looked interesting but
I quickly realized that the only thing interesting about the work is
the way it was being described; as "brain control" of the screen
display. But using motor cortex signals to "control" the display cursor
is really no different than using any physiological variable to
influence the cursor. So I myself have controlled a display using my
brain. I did this years ago using a biofeedback system of David
Goldstein's. I controlled the size of a displayed square by "thinking".
My thoughts led to changes in my GSR which influenced the size of the
square via the computer interface. As I recall, I could vary the size
of the displayed square at will by just thinking of exciting or dull
things. The loop gain of my control of square size was rather low -- as
it is with the cursor control by the monkeys -- and there is a long lag
in the control loop. So I don't think people (or monkeys) are going to
be doing anything complicated using "brain control" anytime soon. I
think there is far less to these "brain-machine interface" studies than
meets the brain.

Best regards

Rick

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On Friday, January 16, 2004, at 10:55 AM, Jim Beardsley {CSGnet} wrote:
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Richard S. Marken
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