Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Catching up on old-ish news

Over the next day I'll be catching up on stories that slipped by me as I was setting this blog up. For tonight here are a few...
Our lab/CKI were mentioned in the media lately for our multiple papers are the recent IEEE conference in Hawaii. When our 'troops' returned for our usually Friday meeting, we asked how the meeting went. They started into how the weather was great and they went to the beach and played golf, but didn't realize we were asking how their presentations went. Ah, I tried to offer myself up to "fall on this grenade" but, alas, no data = no hula girls. From RedOrbit:

Three presentations on Saturday, May 5, 2007, by engineers from the Company and collaborators at Brown University highlighted advances in Cyberkinetics' BrainGate Neural Interface System included:

"Multi-State Decoding of Point-and-Click Control Signals from Motor Cortical Activity in a Human with tetraplegia." Authors include Sung-Phil Kim; John Simeral; Leigh Hochberg (VA/Harvard Medical School); John Donoghue; Gerhard Friehs; and Michael J. Black. All authors are affiliated with Brown University. This presentation described the development of "point and click" computer cursor control, which would be necessary to control medical and other devices, including wheelchairs; "Decoding Grasp Aperture from Motor-Cortical Population Activity." Authors include Panagiotis Artemiadis of the National Technical University of Athens; as well as Gregory Shakhnarovich; Carlos Vargas-Irwin; John Donoghue; and Michael J. Black, all of Brown University. This presentation described decoding neural activity to achieve "continuous motion", which would be important in the ability to provide more natural control of a person's own arm and hand movement, as well as prosthetic limbs; and "Automatic Spike Sorting for Real-Time Applications." Authors are Daniel Sebald, a consultant to Cyberkinetics, and Almut Branner, of Cyberkinetics. This presentation described automatic sorting of brain signals, which significantly reduces the time between a person's thought about movement and the ability to put the thought into action, which is aimed at providing "real-time" performance.

I am posting at 3am right now, which means I could really use a device that would just put me to sleep with the press of the button. Hrm, where could I find one of those? Oh, here!

Interestingly, is basically forces subcortical structures to into a delta oscillation using TMS and you just fall asleep. There is a series of rhythm changes they refer to as Sleep on Command, and a beta oscillation mode to aid student in studying. My lord. I could be the Ultimate Grad Student! Imagine a grad student that never slept! PIs around the world begin drooling. From

The sequenced frequency system called Sleep on Command™ was first released to the public in May 2005 and provides clients with an extraordinary sleep experience. The Sleep on Command™ trademark was filed in early 2006. An Alert Mode (low Beta wave) program was added in 2006 to aid students in studying, and to aid drivers in maintaining alertness and reducing physical and mental fatigue on long trips. It works equally well in desk job

The device costs $500 and can be purchased directly from the company website (with a 1-year warranty). I think I might order one. *counting pennies* Actually, this is the gimmicky device version which you put under your mattress - so it doesn't penetrate your skull. And here I thought I had found a sleep on/off switch. *sigh*

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