Wednesday, November 28, 2012

EEG with Dry Electrodes

Enobio is a wearable and wireless electrophysiology sensor system for the recording of EEG using dry electrodes. It is not necessary to use gel or saline water so it takes just one minute to start reading EEG signals.

This system has a user friendly software (NIC) for real time visualization (including spectrum and spectrogram), filtering, streaming and feature extraction. It as 8 or 20 channels and is wireless using Bluetooth.

Neuroelectrics from Spain (Barcelona) provides this solution. The price is supplied by completing a questionnaire and depending on the type of activity for which it will be used.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Cognitive Control Machines by FESTO

A software solution for controlling devices with thoughts was developed by FESTO using the EPOC BCI device from EMOTIV. 

CogniGame is a reinterpretation of the 1970s game with two players, a ball and two linear axes which move the bats to clear the ball and keep it in play. One player controls his bat with a joystick, and the other controls the linear axis alone by the power of thought via a brain-computer interface (BCI).

This system uses the brainwave pattern mu rhythm. The mu rhythm is generated in the motor-sensory cortex and occurs as a result of physical movement, or even the mere thought of such movement. Consequently, it’s sufficient to simply imagine the left hand moving in order to move the axis to the left. 
More information in the PDF article "New operational concepts for human-machine interaction".

Samsung BCI patent

Samsung recently patent its product to US patent and Trademark office. The patent application which covers Samsung’s initial work on a possible future headset that will utilize a brain computer interface.
Getting to the heart of the patent, Samsung states that “The neural activity is tracked on a neural activity detecting device. The electrical signals representative of the neural activity are transmitted via wired or wireless to the control unit.

If a predetermined signal is sensed by a detecting device, the same EEG readings may be monitored. For example, the Alpha waves (8-13 Hz) could be affected if the user concentrates on some actions. If the concentration pattern is detected, the system is responsive to the signal and issue an instruction to take action to “open file”, “close file”, “copy file”, “clicking”, “paste”, “delete”, “space”, or “inputting characteristics” etc. 

It should be noted that the state patterns of potential users may be monitored before the system is used.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

3D Brain Atlas

The Brain Explorer 3-D viewer is a dynamic tool associated with the Allen Human Brain Atlas that allows you to visualize human brain anatomy and gene expression information from the Atlas database.

A growing collection of online public resources integrating extensive gene expression and neuroanatomical data, complete with a novel suite of search and viewing tools.

The Brain Explorer 2 software is a desktop application for viewing the human brain anatomy and gene expression data in 3-D. Using the Brain Explorer 2 software, you can:

  • View a fully interactive version of the Allen Human Brain Atlas in 3-D;
  • View gene expression data in 3-D: inflated cortical surfaces are colored by gene expression values of nearby samples;
  • View expression data from different donors side-by-side;
  • Explore anatomically-labeled MRI images and cortical surfaces.

This video provides a brief walkthrough of the interactive 3-D viewer, demonstrating its basic features for exploring human brain anatomy and gene expression.

MUSE headband controler

MUSE is a flexible, adjustable, lightweight headband with 4 sensors - including two on the forehead and two behind the ears. It communicates over Bluetooth and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac OS, Windows and Linux. This is a new competitor to Emotiv or NeuroSky companies.

The Canadian startup InteraXon says that it's specially designed to work with a family of applications with exercises for brain health, fitness training, stress management, studying and many more. MUSE is expected to launch in 2013 and retail for around $200. 

Main features:
  • Open communication standard to allow people to write their own device drivers;
  • Rechargeable battery that lasts for 10 hours of use;
  • The headband produces bipolar readings using AFz as the reference for AF3, AF4, TP9, TP10;  
  • The 4-electrode montage enables estimation of hemispheric asymmetries;
  • EEG signals are oversampled and bandpass filtered for noise reduction then downsampled to yield a selectable output sampling rate from 100 Hz to 600 Hz with 2uV (RMS) noise;
  • Active noise suppression is achieved with a DRL - REF feedback configuration using centrally positioned frontal electrodes. 

In my opinion, using an equipment that reads EEG in real-time, when you are running or walking, will have a lots of "noise". I am very curious to see if InteraXon is able to overcome this big challenge.