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Freeman and his coworkers have developed computer models of such activity from the resting brain waves of rabbits.
By learning to vary the intensity of their brain waves, each subject has learned to move the cursor in any direction at various speeds.
This study constitutes a baby step on the road toward that future, but it represents tangible progress in using brain waves to do certain tasks," says the study's lead investigator, neurologist Dr.
The brain waves the monkeys generated during this hiatus, when they were only thinking about moving their arms to the target spot, simulated the neural signals a paralyzed person would generate while thinking about moving a prosthetic arm or cursor to a particular spot, yet not physically doing so.
The current findings provide the first interventional evidence of a causal link between increased beta synchrony and the slowing of voluntary movement in otherwise healthy individuals, the researchers report, noting that earlier studies have shown altered brain waves to influence memory.
The researchers also found that the spotlight of the mind's eye shifted focus at 25 times a second and that this process of switching was regulated by brain waves.
Some scientists theorize that synchronized neural firing, which generates brain waves, lies at the root of perception and memory (SN: 2/20/99, p.
The new efforts rely instead on brain waves measured by electrodes placed on the scalp.
The brain hemispheres take turns sinking into the sleep stage characterized by slow brain waves.
Now, a German research team has demonstrated that a "loss of complexity" due to coordinated nerve firing is detectable in brain waves an average of 11 minutes before the onset of a seizure.
Such common rhythmic pulsing, which lasts for fractions of a second, generates the so-called brain waves picked up by electrodes placed on the scalp.
We don't know all the answers yet, but the alteration in brain waves could lead to things like a lack of concentration, memory loss, inability to learn and aggressive behaviour.