OK, it is crazy, and yet…Tuesday, June 5th, 2012 by Roberto Saracco
I bet you can tell when a shepherd-dog is focussing on something or just going on in his uneventful ( that is, for us) daily life: just watch his ears (I am explicitly personalizing the dog by using “his”). If they are up pointing towards the front you can be sure that something has aroused his attention.
It does not work for humans though: you don’t see your fiancee pulling up her ears as she is approaching you, too bad. On the other hands, you don’t see her pulling up her ears as a nice looking fellow come your way…and this is probably good. In our (human) case one problem is that we cannot move our ears as much as dogs do but some easy prosthetics can do the trick. The difficult part is to understand what the brain think to control the prosthetics.
But now brain interfaces have made such a progress that it is no longer impossible to detect some basic emotional state, such as the one of attention of relaxation, by picking up electrical signals. And once you have that you can easily create “alert messages” to visualize those brain states.
A company, NeuroSky, is doing just that. For 99.95 $ you can buy a set of ears with a brain decoder that can detect if you are aroused or relaxed and will direct the ears movement accordingly: Necomimi.
As it is shown in this clip… enjoy!
Well, this is just for fun, but it shows that brain interfaces are progressing rapidly. Another company, Emotiv, is selling a brain interface to interact with games, directly with your thoughts.
It is now just a matter of when, not if, there will be the possibility to “read” your mind. A scaring and exciting possibility. Taking the issue of privacy to a completely new level!
However, there is more then meet the eye! Some doctors are studying how to use these devices to help people learn to control their emotions, like panic and anxiety. By wearing these kind of devices that visualize their brain emotional state they can practice relaxation technique, thus teaching (training) the brain to react in more appropriate ways to difficult challenges.