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In that over 2 million people in the United States may benefit from assistive devices controlled by a brain-computer interface, Jerry Shih, from Mayo Clinic (Florida, USA) and neuroscientist colleagues have developed a technique by which brain waves can be used to type alphanumerical characters on a computer screen.
By merely focusing on the "q" in a matrix of letters, for example, that "q" appears on the monitor. Researchers say these findings, presented at the 2009 annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society, represent concrete progress toward a mind-machine interface that may, one day, help people with a variety of disorders control devices, such as prosthetic arms and legs. These disorders include Lou Gehrig's disease and spinal cord injuries, among many others.
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