Friday, February 29, 2008

Congrats Ilya!

Interviewees still around, so bogged down in work and non-work, but had to point this out.

Looks like I know some smarty-pants types. You know, the type that get first author on a Neuron Featured Paper, like Ilya Monosov (and for you non-academics, the paper is a free download, too). All those hours listening to FEF this and distrator that in the grad student office. Looks like it paid off! Very interesting work related to visual saliency and target selection. Next stop? Array in FEF (I say!).

Ilya was also talked about on NPR for his music project. You can hear him for yourselves here.

Congrats on the nice pub, Ilya!

Now go read it, my minions!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Media software follow up

Greg posted a link in the comments to a similar article he wrote a year ago. Great minds think alike!

Also, I noticed that I didn't list any 3D software. The reason for that is that I haven't kept up much on that realm lately. I used to LOOOVE Infini-D and Strata Studio Pro back in the day, but many of the current packages are far more complicated than I've had time to really learn.

One that I will point out, since I've just started using it again, is Poser. Poser allows you to manipulate figures (mostly human, but there are add-on packs) into lifelike configurations, complete with fabrics, skins, and realistic joint limits.

Another old favorite that has been apparently left to die is Bryce. Bryce used to be the best landscape generator, and was the source of many arguments with my friends on how digital imaging was art, even though you could use something like Bryce to generate a landscape better than almost any artist is capable. The original driving force behind Bryce was Kai Krause, a legendary Photoshop guru, who wanted to make tools that were more 'experiential' than technical. Bryce is fun to play with. Actually, lots of fun to play with. It has been somewhat marred by the transitions after version 4 or 5 which tried to make it more technical. It still retains some of that fun aspect, though not as much.

3DSMax is the gold standard for 3D on all levels (don't tell the people on the Maya team (also now owned by the same company) Shhhh) This is basically the Photoshop of the 3D world, but I have yet to really work much with it.

A second reason I didn't mention 3D is that there are two main camps, or maybe it's better described as a narrow line in the sand, between 'real time' and rendered content. Thanks to all the pwnage of modern 3D games, the attention has been split between what can be done quickly and what can be done accurately. Many useful solutions involve taking a game engine, like the Quake, Unreal, CryENGINE, etc engines (which deal with how things are rendered, antialiased, filtered and categorizing objects like terrain vs player, plus physics and many other aspects of the visual and audio experience) and then using a 3D package to generate the content that goes into the 3D world using modelers, like the 3DStudio Max Character Studio or more 'simple' programs like Rhinoceros. Then, Photoshop is used to create the textures and bump maps that are skinned on those objects.

(Side note - if you are one of those people that thinks, "Blegh! Video games!" Read the Wikipedia entry on the CryENGINE. The thing is a feat of engineering and imagination, and just pondering how you might go from something like a simple wall to a fully destructible object is interesting in itself. Also, reading through the evolution of the Quake Engine is incredibly interesting. The Quake and Doom engines are GPLed, meaning you can download the source code and mess with them all you want. Do a quick Google for "Quake engine tutorials" or "Quake mod develop" and you'll find 100's of sites dedicated to teaching you how to go from a blank 3D space to a playable game. Like I said before, video games will contribute more to BCIs than most people expect. They are an example of extreme computing optimization, environment interaction, and controlled environment generation (not to mention extensible and modular development), and the ways that these issues were resolved in games will work their way into the base of next generation BCIs.)

Confused? Nah. It isn't that bad, but exhausting enough that unless you really have a great idea and a ton of patience (plus $$$), 'playing' with 3D software is just masochistic.

No Emotiv for you!


"Emotiv does not have review units at this time. Please check back closer to
the consumer availability date of Christmas 2008."

I tried.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Useful (Windows) software: Media edition!

An email exchange with a colleague gave me the idea to post this. So here goes: anything and everything you (reasonably) need related to multimedia (images, movies, audio).


This is probably the simplest, and most expensive recommendation. Photoshop ($999 retail, $299 academic). I don't care what you put Adobe Photoshop against, it is hands down the creme-de-la-creme of image editors. I know, pricey, but you can always get it standalone, without all the other Adobe products. If you're in academia, it is surprisingly 'affordable'. Not only is it good at what it does, but everyone knows what it is, and having mad sk1llZ at PS looks good to everyone. Plus, the number of PS-specific resources online is staggering and if you ever need help or are looking for a particular processing technique, there is probably an online tutorial or plug-in that will make your life easier.

If you refuse to get Photoshop, the most reasonable Open Source alternative is The GIMP (free) or Paint.NET (free). Both are decent and will do 95% or what you probably want. Another less pricey, though not free, option is Photoshop Elements ($199 retail, $69 academic) if you're dealing mostly with photographs. BUT, if you are dealing with nothing but photographs, or take photography semi-seriously, Adobe Lightroom ($299 retail, $99 academic) is an excellent option for organizing and tweaking every setting in regular old JPEGs and RAW images.

For hosting or sharing, either Flickr or Picasa will do the trick. Both have decent free plans, but only Flickr has pro accounts (unlimited storage vs 250MB for Picasa). Avoid Kodak. Avoid it like the F#*&$^#ing plague. Actually, avoid any service that, like Kodak, requires other people to register an account just to view your images.

If you are using XP, I cannot count how many times Image Resizer has come in handy. Right-click an image and select the new size. Bam. Done. XP only, though. For Vista, there's no equivalent. You can try VSO Image Resizer (free), but it isn't as nice. Also, there are some reports of bugs with large batch jobs. There is also this beta app (free), which I have not tried.


First, the basics. Long ago, I got sick of getting video files that wouldn't render because of missing codecs. That's when I found K-Lite Codec Pack and K-Lite Mega Codec Pack (both free). I've been using it for 6 or so years and it has never let me down. It basically bundles all the most current versions of codecs into a single installer. Every 6 months I uninstall it and install the latest version. it also installs Media Player Classic, which is just the old version of Windows Media Player with support for all those codecs. It launches fast, plays smoothly, and just works.

Along the same lines, two video related pieces of software suck on Windows: Quicktime and RealPlayer. Enter Real Alternative and Quicktime Alternative (both free). Bam. No need to install RealPlayer or Quicktime (except when iTunes forces you to).

Okay, now you can see your videos. Yay! Want to convert them to other formats? This is dicey all around. I have tried tens of software solutions and settled on Xilisoft Video Converter ($35). It isn't perfect, but it works 90%+ of the time. You can also try MediaCoder (free), though I haven't had as much luck as with Xilisoft. These are intended for simple/consumer level conversions, not high quality jobs. They're simple, with a minimal learning curve.

For DVD playback, I use WinDVD ($35). It is simple to use, but packed with a billion high quality features if you dig around. It can be a little wonky to set up in Vista, but once you got it, you never have to touch it. The main competitor is PowerDVD ($100), which is more actively supported and has most of the features of WinDVD, but buggier in the past. WinDVD has just bee bought out by Corel, and they are planning an update to v9 'soon' (as of Nov '07). The next time I have to reinstall a system, I will probably switch back to PowerDVD. PowerDVD Ultra will playback Blu-Ray (and HD-DVD) if you have a drive, while WinDVD Platinum's support is shakey.

For all purpose media players, I just stick with Windows Media Player 11. It just seems to work 95% of the time, and isn't an eyesore. But, for those pesky files. there's VLC player (free). There's also a nice portable version for running it off a thumb drive.


Converting between audio formats is much easier. Essentially, there is no reason to use anything other than mp3. It is so widely supported that if a program deals with sound, it will support mp3. While WMP does not support directly converting to mp3, iTunes does (just right click the track). If you want to get more control (MUCH more control) over audio converting, Easy CD-DA Extractor ($32) is by far the best solution I've found. It is the last audio transcoding and ripping program you will ever need. I've been using it for 8+ years. For tagging those files with meta-information, I've been using TagScanner (free). There is a slight learning curve but once you get used to it, again, you'll never use another program. Especially good at batch jobs

For audio authoring, having hosted a podcast, I have found that Adobe Audition ($399 retail, ~$150 academic) is the best, simple program out there. Again, you pay the Adobe premium, but of all the programs I tried (Cakewalk, Vegas, Sound Forge, and a few others) it was the most intuitive and offered the best quality output with the least amount of work. My main concern was noise reduction and cleaning up audio, along with filtering, and Audition delivers in spades.

If you want to go the free route, the gold standard is Audacity. Simple and quick, with a wide user base, Audacity is very good for an OS project, but lacks the fine control and intelligent automation of Audition. When converting to Vista, Adobe was slow to add Vista support, and I ended up using Audacity for several months. I was generally pleased, but had a few instances where the program just quit for no reason after hitting the stop button (which I was oh so happy about after recording a 45 minute show). Also, the 1.3.x version has been in beta forever (at least a couple years).

Site note

Hey kids,

Sorry. Prospective student interview weekends (last week and this week), so posts will be very sparse until that's over.

And jsut so you know, yes, I have requested a review unit from Emotiv. There will be a review here, and at Digital Trends when I get it, and I'll post a little unboxing action as well. As much as I'm expecting to dump on the 'brain' component, I'm pretty excited about playing with a the first commercially available BCI unit aimed at consumers, and I think that if you like the topic of this blog, it would make a nice addition (start?) to your collection. I think it will be an 'important' product. Also, Emotiv seems to have really packed on the non-brain features,so even if the neural/EEG control is flakey, it will have a number of other. We'll see.

In the meantime, I will be destroying the dreams of prospective students. Bwahahaha! Okay, that's just mean.

Monday, February 18, 2008

HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray

Last post for today.

If you were waiting on buying a high def player, wait no more. HD-DVD is all but dead. Go ahead and get a Blu-Ray player. If HD-DVD wins at this point, I will buy every reader a flagship HD-DVD player. (Lost several major studios last month, recommended by Best Buy last month (read: uneducated masses will have to hunt for the HD-DVDs in the store while Blu-Ray on end caps and with demo stations), now no longer carried by Walmart, no longer carried by Netflix, and Toshiba now suspending the actual manufacturing of the discs.) BUT...

There are several Blu-Ray 'profiles' - 1.0, 1.1, and 2.0. Current players are only in the v1 realm, and the only firmware upgradeable player is the Playstation 3. What does this mean? Profile 2 basically just adds the ability to access online content. If you can do without that, you can get another player. The profiles refer to added features, and if you get a "profile 2.0" disc, but only have a profile 1.1 player, you can still play the disc, just not access the 2.0 specific content.

That being said, the PS3 is not an ideal Blu-Ray player for two main reasons.

1) The remote is RF only (actually Bluetooth), which means that if you have an all-in-one remote, like the Logitech Harmony line that I LOVE, it is useless for controlling the PS3. There is a 'work around' to get IR support that involves getting an old PS2 IR remote and a USB to PS2 controller adapter, which might be worth looking into if you plan on making the jump.

2) It is loud. Not jet engine in the living room or XBox 360 loud, but more noticeable than a standard player (it starts off near silent, but around mid-way through the movie the fans kick in). Nice comparison (don't trust the YouTube videos).

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Review

Turns out that the artsy little Cable Car Cafe was showing The Diving Bell and the Butterfly all this time (they don't show up on the major movie theater sites). Saw it last night, and here are some general thoughts.

First of all, everyone in this field should both read the book and see this movie. The book is a more somber, introspective experience, forcing you to take some real time to consider the situation of the author (locked-in due to brainstem stroke, communicating with a single eye blink). The movie makes a bigger deal of the author's relationships with women (his children's mother, his lover, the speech therapist, anything with mammary glands), but it somehow brought it all together. I guess watching two hours of deadpan, introspective dialog just doesn't make for enjoyable viewing.

The majority of the movie is shown from the perspective of the patient (Jean-Dominique Bauby, former editor of Elle Magazine), and was truly a remarkable experience. Later, the camera does leave his body to focus on him, but the way the director goes about it is extremely artistic and at the same time respectful. Rather than hit you with the image of Mr. Bauby in his immobilized and distorted state, he makes you relate to his condition without considering the visible impact - the distorted lips, the bloodshot eye, the trach tube, etc.

I don't want to give away too much, or describe it in too much detail because some of the stark transitions and imagery is meant to be experienced as part of the progression of the film, but it was remarkable on every level. Artistically, it felt like every shot was intentional, telling its own story. The actors and actresses were just amazing. The pace was good, and the organization well thought out. I simply could not have been happier.

On the 'mechanical' side, it looked to me like everything was well represented as far as the medical issues (though I assume they removed much of the lung suctioning because it can be a little disconcerting to people not used to it).

Mathieu Amalric does an incredible job of depicting a locked-in patient. There is one emotional scene that really hit me hard. If you saw it you probably know which one it was, but Bauby's emotional response to a situation, only being able to move that one eye, was downright haunting. I've seen that look of helplessness and panic, and it brought up memories I try not to think about. Amalric's portrayal is spot-on exactly accurate, perfect, wow, can't even say how surprised I was.

Thankfully, the movie is not all about helplessness. It is in some ways uplifting, with some great scenes to match, and part documentary. You'll leave the theater quietly thinking about the whole experience, but not in the "that was so sad, I don't want to speak" sort of way. You can't help but reflect on each scene and each transition. Each moment is its own story or point to meditate on. While I wouldn't say the movie is uplifting, it wasn't depressing either, which I think was the director's attempt to catch the spirit of the book. It has been almost 10 years since I read it (now I plan on rereading it), but I remember a similar feeling. It's the Existential feeling of - this is what it is to be human, the good and the bad. One doesn't exist without the other, and you can't choose to ignore or dwell on just one aspect of your humanity forever.

People say that it isn't what you say that makes a person, it's what you do. But, then what if you can say or do nothing? That is what this movie is about.

IMdB link
Official Site
Amazon book link
Netflix queue link
Fandango theater search (be sure to check your local artsy locations, too. This is a 'foreign flick', so expect it in smaller venues.)

TabletPC Squeee!

So, quick post on my TabletPC enthusiasm/addiction.

My Gateway CX210 tablet, which I have a love-hate relationship with had some issues. Nothing major, but enough that I wanted to send it in before the warranty expired. A motherboard swap was in order, but the piece wasn't in stock. SO they kept my baby for 2 weeks and when it still wasn't in stock, they sent the system back to me unrepaired. Two weeks later they got it in stock and after all the fuss, the swap didn't solve the problem. Annoyed? Slightly. So, they were going to swap out the system for an entirely new unit. Being the sly guy I am, I asked if I could pay some sort of upgrade fee for the latest model. I get a call a few hours later letting me know that I will be a brand new, just released, maxed out system. It's nice to see some companies still valuing their customers like that. While it was annoying to lose my system for that long, replacing a 1.5 year old system with a brand new one shows alot of class.

So, I bring this up because the time to get a new PC is just about here. The Penryn chips and latest motherboards are starting to trickle out. The next iteration of systems, as in the ones you'll see in ~8-10 months, won't be adding too much that the average user will notice (anyone care if they have an on-chip memory controller? Thought so.) Penryn systems with their 45nm goodness are starting to hit the streets as we speak. Gateway just upgraded their desktop replacement tablet system with the C-141X and XL. When checking, look for these processor numbers: T8100, T8300, T9300, T9500, X9000 (those would be 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.8GHz (quad) respectively).

For you Mac peeps, by the end of the month there should be refreshes of the MacBook or MacBook Pro or Both. Why? Penryn shipping in volume for one. Multitouch for two. Apple has learned long ago that adding funky new Mac-only tech one one item can steal sales from other lines, as people wait for the feature to appear in related products.

So, for Tablet PCs, there are:
Gateway C-141X and XL (14" screen means a full page of text.)
Toshiba M700 (Tied for my first place choice. Smaller screen. Lighter.)
Fujitsu T4220 (not upgraded to Penryn yet)
Dell Latitude XT (way underpowered CPU, but much-hyped screen and digitizer)
HP tx2000 (AMD CPU = yuck)
Lenovo ThinkPad X61 (considered one of the best universally, but lacks widescreen, and a has a slower CPU)

From the point of view of someone that needs some decent number crunching power, the Gateway and Toshiba really stick out. It's not the most portable, weighing in at the same weight as a 15.4" system, but it gets the job done. Note that Gateway got it right on the RAM. Don't bother with 4GB of RAM - Windows will only see 3GB. If all you want is a ssytem for reading/annotating papers, note taking, and surfing, any will do, though the Dell will feel a bit balky. I would probably go with a 12.1" version, like the M700. to keep the weight down. Just make sure the battery lasts a while, or that you can add a modular bay battery.

Another option is to use a regular laptop and get a Wacom Bamboo or Bamboo Fun pad. They're essentially USB digitizers (work on Mac and PC), that just lack the nitty gritty of the more popular, artist-intended Graphire and Intuos lines (no tilt detection, and a 'measly' 512 levels of pressure). I was seriously considering this route, until my whole system was replaced. I might still pick one up for my home PC. I'll post a link to the Digital Trends review when I do. Got my eye on the medium sized silver Fun edition. Not sure if you want a full time tablet PC? Grab one of these for $70 and mess around with it! (The Bamboo is around $70 online and the medium Fun version is around $170 (at Costco).)

As for a Mac tablet, don't hold your breath. There's the ModBook, which is shipping so slowly that I still can't get a review unit. Then there's the rumored Apple official version. Expect it to drop mid next year at the earliest. There are a number of reasons, but just from someone that has watched the Apple product cycle for years and knows the tech business pretty well, there is no way we will see it this year, and it would be questionable to see it next year.

Happy scribbling!

(Update: Engadget has a nice breakdown of the next iteration of laptop chipsets, dubbed Centrino 2. Right now is the best time to get a system if you plan to keep it for under 2.5 years. The only major upgrades on the horizon are 1) faster bus (rarely the major bottleneck in laptops) and 2) DDR3 support (ridiculous prices now, and expected to drop around mid next year). The only other thing I forgot to mention is that 500GB laptop drives should hit the shelves by next month, so if you store massive amount of data, maybe a one month wait is in order.)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Totally Rad Show

For those you out there that enjoy your media - Movies, Games, TV, Comics - there is the Totally Rad Show. TRS is a weekly video download/video podcast/vodcast/whatever you call it, that reviews the latest and most talked about releases. It's fun to watch, pretty damn spot on for people of *my* generation (of the geek persuasion), and generally, well, totally rad.

I bring it up because this week's episode reviewed The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. I haven't had a chance to see it yet (nothing interesting makes it to the black hole of boredom that is Providence, RI), but now I'm thinking about trekking up to Boston to catch it.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Su... Su... Super paper. Friday. Chaaaaa.

Control of visually guided behavior by distinct populations of spinal projection neurons.
Orger MB, Kampff AR, Severi KE, Bollmann JH, Engert F.
Nat Neurosci. 2008 Feb 10 [Epub ahead of print]

A voice region in the monkey brain.
Petkov CI, Kayser C, Steudel T, Whittingstall K, Augath M, Logothetis NK.
Nat Neurosci. 2008 Feb 10 [Epub ahead of print]

Sensorimotor Processing and Goal-Directed Movement.
Knill DC, Maloney LT, Trommershäuser J.
J Vis. 2007;7(5):1-2.

Computations for geometrically accurate visually guided reaching in 3-D space.
Blohm G, Crawford JD.
J Vis. 2007 May 4;7(5):4.1-22.

Coordinate Transformation is First Completed Downstream of Primary Motor Cortex
Yuval Yanai, Nofya Adamit, Zvi Israel, Ran Harel, and Yifat Prut
Journal of Neuroscience, February 13, 2008, 28(7):1728-1732

Seidler RD, Noll DC.
J Neurophysiol. 2008 Feb 13 [Epub ahead of print]

Parallelization of cellular neural networks on GPU
Tze-Yui Hoa, Ping-Man Lama and Chi-Sing Leung
Pattern RecognitionIn Press, Accepted Manuscript, , Available online 8 February 2008.

An updatable holographic three-dimensional display.
Tay S, Blanche PA, Voorakaranam R, Tunç AV, Lin W, Rokutanda S, Gu T, Flores D, Wang P, Li G, St Hilaire P, Thomas J, Norwood RA, Yamamoto M, Peyghambarian N.
Nature. 2008 Feb 7;451(7179):694-8.

Human pavlovian-instrumental transfer.
Talmi D, Seymour B, Dayan P, Dolan RJ.
J Neurosci. 2008 Jan 9;28(2):360-8.

Think to Move: a Neuromagnetic Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) System for Chronic Stroke.
Buch E, Weber C, Cohen LG, Braun C, Dimyan MA, Ard T, Mellinger J, Caria A, Soekadar S, Fourkas A, Birbaumer N.
Stroke. 2008 Feb 7 [Epub ahead of print]

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Teach me a learnin'!

Link dump of learning/education/organization for you! Each is actually very interesting.

Cognitive Enhancement articles at: Mind Hacks, Cognitive Daily, LA Times (via Digg).

Online learning courses and resources from: Dumb Little Man, Neurophilosophy, OpenCulture.

Organization type stuff from: LifeHacker, LifeHacker (2), Ask MetaFilter, LifeHack, iPod Hacker.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Things to buy

Fun brain things! Plush Neuron, Brain Hat, Swarm Theory

Chapin's robo-rats minus the rats

The interwebs have had chatter recently about the use of rat-type biomimetic technology for wiggling through caves and cave ins. Below is a video clip of something similar done at SUNY, where rats were influenced to traverse a terrain under the control of stimulating electrodes in the barrel cortex.

Brief aside: For those of you not in the know on the world wide fever know as rat whisker barrel cortex, the idea is pretty simple: rats, which are nocturnal, navigate be feeling the deflections in their whiskers. When examining the somatosensory cortex, very distinct topography exists, and the individual whiskers can be seen. This is a semi-old finding, but important because it shows a direct relationship between some type of externally sense phenomenon and cortical arrangement (here's the Wikipedia entry for a little more). At SUNY, they placed stimulating electrodes in these 'barrel', and basically fooled the rat into thinking that it was brushing up against an obstacle to steer it.

Well, a secondary thing that has come of this is what has made the news: active sensing. Scientists in Israel have decided to build robots based on this idea. Many tiny little fingers with several integrated sensors on each feel and ID objects as it burrows around. Nifty, and a reason to recap roborats.

Tips to: Medgadget, Physorg, IO9

Friday, February 8, 2008

Super paper Friday x 2

First, one from there nobodies ;)

Primary Motor Cortex Tuning to Intended Movement Kinematics in Humans with Tetraplegia
Wilson Truccolo,1,3 Gerhard M. Friehs,2,6 John P. Donoghue,1,3,7 and Leigh R. Hochberg
Journal of Neuroscience, January 30, 2008, 28(5):1163-1178

Wilder Penfield in the age of YouTube: visualizing the sequential activation of sensorimotor areas across neocortex.
Kleinfeld D, Waters J.
Neuron. 2007 Dec 6;56(5):760-2.

Discharge Synchrony during the Transition of Behavioral Goal Representations Encoded by Discharge Rates of Prefrontal Neurons.
Sakamoto K, Mushiake H, Saito N, Aihara K, Yano M, Tanji J.
Cereb Cortex. 2008 Feb 5

Behavioural report of single neuron stimulation in somatosensory cortex
Arthur R. Houweling, & Michael Brecht
Nature 451, 65-68 (3 January 2008)

Evolved Feature Weighting for Random Subspace Classifier
Nanni, L, Lumini, A
Neural Networks, IEEE Transactions on, Feb. 2008, Volume: 19,Issue: 2: 363-366

Multidigit Movement Synergies of the Human Hand in an Unconstrained Haptic Exploration Task
Pramodsingh H. Thakur, Amy J. Bastian, and Steven S. Hsiao
Journal of Neuroscience, February 6, 2008, 28(6):1271-1281

Perceptual learning depends on perceptual constancy.
Garrigan P, Kellman PJ.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Feb 4

Prediction of upper limb muscle activity from motor cortical discharge during reaching.
Pohlmeyer EA, Solla SA, Perreault EJ, Miller LE.
J Neural Eng. 2007 Dec;4(4):369-79. Epub 2007 Nov 12.

A Sparse Generative Model of V1 Simple Cells with Intrinsic Plasticity
Cornelius Weber, Jochen Triesch
Neural Computation 0:0, 1-24

When pliers become fingers in the monkey motor system.
Umiltà MA, Escola L, Intskirveli I, Grammont F, Rochat M, Caruana F, Jezzini A, Gallese V, Rizzolatti G.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Jan 31 [Epub ahead of print]

New experiences enhance coordinated neural activity in the hippocampus.
Cheng S, Frank LM.
Neuron. 2008 Jan 24;57(2):303-13.

On-line grasp control is mediated by the contralateral hemisphere.
Rice NJ, Tunik E, Cross ES, Grafton ST.
Brain Res. 2007 Oct 17;1175:76-84. Epub 2007 Aug 10.

Two-dimensional movement control using electrocorticographic signals in humans
G Schalk et al 2008 J. Neural Eng. 5 75-84

Cortical plasticity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: motor imagery and function.
Lulé D, Diekmann V, Kassubek J, Kurt A, Birbaumer N, Ludolph AC, Kraft E.
Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2007 Nov-Dec;21(6):518-26. Epub 2007 May 2.

Bayesian network modeling for discovering "dependent synergies" among muscles in reaching movements.
Li J, Wang ZJ, Eng JJ, McKeown MJ.
IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2008 Jan;55(1):298-310.

Review of signal distortion through metal microelectrode recording circuits and filters.
Nelson MJ, Pouget P, Nilsen EA, Patten CD, Schall JD.
J Neurosci Methods. 2008 Jan 31 [Epub ahead of print]

An animal model of functional electrical stimulation: evidence that the central nervous system modulates the consequences of training.
Hook MA, Grau JW.
Spinal Cord. 2007 Nov;45(11):702-12. Epub 2007 Aug 14.

Top-down laminar organization of the excitatory network in motor cortex.
Weiler N, Wood L, Yu J, Solla SA, Shepherd GM.
Nat Neurosci. 2008 Feb 3 [Epub ahead of print]

A computational neuroanatomy for motor control.
Shadmehr R, Krakauer JW.
Exp Brain Res. 2008 Feb 5 [Epub ahead of print]

Use of an artificial neuroadaptive robot model to describe adaptive and learning motor mechanisms in the central nervous system.
Khemaissia S, Morris A.
IEEE Trans Syst Man Cybern B Cybern. 1998;28(3):404-16.

Systems neuroplasticity in the aging brain: recruiting additional neural resources for successful motor performance in elderly persons.
Heuninckx S, Wenderoth N, Swinnen SP.
J Neurosci. 2008 Jan 2;28(1):91-9.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Luke, I am your double blind, placebo controlled phase two investigational medical device trial funding officer

You probably already saw this, but I had to post it as well. The Deka Luke Arm is ready for phase II funding. This the rockin Dean Kamen arm. Also, the Hopkins APL Revolutionizing Prosthetics gets a second round of funding.

Also, no need to report these, but check out the related links on BoingBoing (below).

Direct Link. Link to tech diagram.

Here are the reports (note the update on Medgadget).
BoingBoing, Medgadget, Engadget, Slashdot

Productivity software update

I mentioned some sweet, free little programs a few months ago. Well, TrueCrypt was updated today, and now offers whole disc encryption, so you get a password prompt when you are booting up. Nice. Plus, OSX and Linux versions. Get it here.

Next, in the same post I mentioned FolderShare, the super awesome automatically syncing software. Well, if you want to pay for a slightly more polished offering, GottaBeMobile mentions that BeInSync is the way to go. (While I love their site, the videos are so mind-numbingly drab and boring, I will never download another media clip from them.) Use at your own risk, though. The comments seem to indicate some problems.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Brief mention

Due to high work load stuff surrounding my annoyingly late prelim, I will be posting a little less often (as you've probably noticed). Don't worry, I haven't forgotten or left the site to die.