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Brain Machine Interface - The New Frontier of Neuroscience

  • Highlights

  • BMI translates neuron activity to actionp

  • Helps to treat neuro-diseases

  • Can intercept disease

  • Aids in communication

A brain–machine interface (BMI), is a direct communication pathway between the brains, and the external device. This interface is known by other names, such as:
Neural-control interface
Brain–computer interface
Mind-machine interface
Direct neural interface
The neuron activity is translated into information or action.
Lot of work is being done by scientists on the brain–machine interface, but the concept is not entirely novel.

Brain–Machine Interface - Footsteps

In 1970s computer scientist Jacques Vidal started working on the Brain Computer Interface project, where electrical signals from brain was recorded through electroencephalogram, or EEG. He visualised using these signals to control external devices.

BMI For Communication

Decades back, researchers like Shenoy, the Hong Seh, Vivian W. M. Lim Professor, Henderson, the John, Jene Blume–Robert, Ruth Halperin Professor and Paul Nuyujukian worked on devices

to help paralysed people to type messages on the computer screen.and Paul Nuyujukian worked on devices to help paralysed people to type messages on the computer screen.Software algorithms, called decoders, were used to translate brain signals into cursor movements.
Recently, Brain Co is combining BMI with artificial intelligence. Bicheng Han, CEO of Brain Co, envisages tweeting thoughts directly to the computer without using keyboards, touchscreens, and even voice assistants.

Intercept Warning

BMI such as NeuroPace can listen to brain activity patterns and give the indication if there is deviation in the brain activity. Bronte-Stewart found that the low-frequency brain waves were less predictable during the freezing episodes of gait in Parkinson. Therefore, BMI can warn us in time, about the symptoms of any neuropsychiatric diseases.

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Neurodisease Treatment

Brain–machine interface can be used to treat stroke, epilepsy, and other neuro diseases. Deep brain stimulation uses electrical impulses to treat Parkinson's disease, tremor, and dystonia.
Kernel has developed tiny implantable chip to repair neurological damage by diseases such as Alzheimer's concussion. The chip is being tried for the maintenance of brain's health, and to boost memory, and intelligence.

NeuroLutions has developed robotic exoskeleton IpsiHand that establishes new synaptic connections, and restores function to the paralysed limb. It was started with the funding of USD 2.15 million.
BrainRobotics in 2015 was founded at USD 5 million (Rs.32 crore approximately). It helps arm amputees to use robotic prosthesis which will be controlled by the mind. The prosthetic limbs motor function is driven by EEG. These prostheses can be priced at USD 3000.
Doctors can leverage the research on the BMI technology, with the help of a quick and easy doctor loan offering high loan amounts.
The scope of brain–machine interface in the health industry is broad. From communication to healing, warning signals to the use of prosthetic limbs, BMI is going to revolutionise healthcare.

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