re: Neural Connections
Tue, 8 Oct 1996 20:20:09 -0400

Subj: re: Neural Connections
To: (Suresh Naidu)
CC: (extropians)
From: (Charles Ostman)

>Can someone update me on the state of brain-computer interface research?
>have the managed to control circuits with nerve impulses yet? I remember
>reading this once, but I`m not sure. If they have, then what have they
>been doing since. A project I and some friends are working on is
>interfacing an EKG with a commputer. We got ahold of an old EKG, and it`s
>sitting in a basement waiting for us to put it together and hook it up to
>a computer.

>Suresh Naidu

Hello Suresh:
The field of brain/machine interface, or what I tend to refer to as
"mind machine" interface, is quite extensive, and goes far beyond some
of the current commercial gagedtry offered by companies such as BioMuse,
and others plying this market. Incidentally, the preceding comment was
in no way intended to impune the quality or intent of the product line
produced by BioMuse, which is probably the best "consumer" grade EEG and
EMG interface components currently available.

I happen to be the science editor for Mondo 2000 magazine, the most recent
issue (# of which has just gone into circulation, featuring my article on the

topic of "Mind Machine Interface". My background is a combination of
computer science and physics, although I have had more than "a tad" of
of exposure to neural physiology and biosensory system development over
the course of my somewhat diverse and meandering work history.

In the above mentioned article I provide extensive detail on the currently
available technology, as well as an overview of the developmental history
of all aspects of electro-neural signal analysis, utilzation of SQUID
detector systems, 3D volumetric elctro-chemical event capture via
ultra sensitive NMR cameras, group mind experiencial event interfacing,
and so on. You will also find a example resource and bibliographic
reference listing embedded in the article as well. Commercial efforts
at implementing dynamic neural signal interfacing systems, such as
AquaThought, may also be interesting to you.

And finally (for the moment), my first efforts at creating my own
"home brew" EEG amplifier and spectral analysis/FFT processor engine
for detecting brain wave patterns and developing an interpretational
referencing protocol was back in the early '80's, which was about when
BYTE magazine published a series of articles about the "HAL" brain
wave detector and analysis hardware and software (I believe it was
June / July '82).

In any case, I wish you luck on your quest for further useful knowledge
in this area. Let me know, if you wish, if you are developing any
applications along these lines.

most sincerely,

Charles Ostman

Science Editor/Author - Mondo 2000
Tech Editor/Author - Midnight Engineering
Dir. of Content Dev./member Science Advisory Board - Nanothinc
Founder - Berkeley Designs

tel 510 549 0129
510 845 9018

fax 510 649 9630