News Stories

Twitter Using Only Your Brain

Whitley twitters. We've talked about Twitter morality. Now we have news about people who can twitter using only their brains. And will the internet ITSELF someday be conscious (the Master of the Key said this would happen). Or is it conscious already?

Adam Wilson posted a Twitter message just by thinking about it. Just 23 characters long, his message, "using EEG to send tweet," shows how "locked-in" patients can use modern communication tools.

Wilson is not in that condition himself. He's a biomedical engineering student who is trying to perfect a communication system for users whose bodies do not work, but whose brains function normally. Among those are people who have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), brain-stem stroke or high spinal cord injury.

Some brain-computer interface systems use brain implants. Others employ an electrode-studded cap wired to a computer. The electrodes detect electrical signals in the brain (essentially, thoughts) and translate them into physical actions, such as a cursor motion on a computer screen.He is working with his professor, Justin Williams, who says, "We started thinking that moving a cursor on a screen is a good scientific exercise, but when we talk to people who have locked-in syndrome or a spinal-cord injury, their No. 1 concern is communication."

Their interface consists, essentially, of a keyboard displayed on a computer screen. "The way this works is that all the letters come up, and each one of them flashes individually," says Williams. "And what your brain does is, if you

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