Monday, September 6, 2010

The brain speaks | Science Blog

The brain speaks | Science Blog: "The University of Utah research team placed grids of tiny microelectrodes over speech centers in the brain of a volunteer with severe epileptic seizures. The man already had a craniotomy — temporary partial skull removal — so doctors could place larger, conventional electrodes to locate the source of his seizures and surgically stop them.

Using the experimental microelectrodes, the scientists recorded brain signals as the patient repeatedly read each of 10 words that might be useful to a paralyzed person: yes, no, hot, cold, hungry, thirsty, hello, goodbye, more and less.

Later, they tried figuring out which brain signals represented each of the 10 words. When they compared any two brain signals — such as those generated when the man said the words “yes” and “no” — they were able to distinguish brain signals for each word 76 percent to 90 percent of the time."

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