Technology has made it possible to make use of computers as a replacement for the brain. Many kinds of research are going on to reduce the human work. The world is marching towards the automation in order to reduce the complexity in the work, speed up the process and at the same time to provide a relaxed life to all mankind. Some of the technologies involving human brain are the blue brain project, the blue eyes technology.
What is a Brain-Computer Interface?
Brain-computer interface (BCI) is a collaboration between a brain and a device that enables signals from the brain to direct some external activity, such as control of a cursor or a prosthetic limb the interface enables the direct communications pathway between the brain and object to be controlled.
The human brain is of the size of a deflated volleyball which weighs about 3 pounds. We live at a time when the disabled are on the leading edge of a border societal trend towards the use of an assistive technology known as Brain with Computer Interface. With the advent of miniature wireless tech, electronic gadgets have stepped up the invasion of the body through innovative techniques.
A Brain-computer interface (BCI) provides a new communication channel between the human brain and the computer. The 100 billion neurons communicate via minute electrochemical impulses, shifting patterns sparking like fireflies on a summer evening, which produce movement, expression, and words. Mental activity leads to changes of electrophysiological signals. The BCI system detects such changes and transforms it into a control signal. In the case of cursor control, for example, the signal is transmitted directly from the brain to the mechanism directing the cursor, rather than taking the normal root through the body’s neuromuscular system from the brain to the finger on a mouse. By reading signals from an array of neurons and using computer chips and programs to translate the signals into action, BCI can enable a person suffering from paralysis to write a book or control a motorized wheelchair or prosthetic link through thought alone. Many physiological disorders or injuries such as high-level spinal cord injury can disrupt the communication path between the brain and the body. This is where brain-computer interface comes into play contributing for beneficial real-time services and applications.
How does the brain-computer interface work?
Our brains are filled with neurons, individual nerve cells connected to one another by dendrites and axons. Every time we think, move, feel or remember something, our neurons are at work. That work is carried out by small electric signals that zip from neuron to neuron as fast as 250 mph. The signals are generated by differences in electric potential carried by ions on the membrane of each neuron. Although the paths the signals take are insulated by something called myelin, some of the electric signal escapes. Scientists can detect those signals, interpret what they mean and use them to direct a device of some kind. It can also work the other way around. For example, researchers could figure out what signals are sent to the brain by the optic nerve when someone sees the color red. They could rig a camera that would send those exact signals into someone’s brain whenever the camera saw red, allowing a blind person to “see” without eyes.