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Speaking Your Mind

We've discussed going from paralysis to mobility, but what about going from loss of vocal speech to the production of automated speech by simply using your thoughts? With the use of BCI, artificial intelligence, and neural networks, this far-fetched science fiction idea might just become a reality. The cerebral cortex, also your brain’s most highly developed part, is the outer layer of your cerebrum. It plays a large role in higher thinking and in language perception and production. Thus, by using electrodes at the cortical surface while people listen and communicate, scientists have been able to study the brain waves that give rise to speech. By associating certain brain waves with certain

Finding Out What Does and Doesn't Work for EEG Data Processing

Complications with using Python on MacOS to Receive and Process EEG data As a somewhat new student to the neurotech field and specifically EEG data manipulation, my first task seemed simple - connect the OpenBCI hardware with my Mac via Bluetooth, and then attempt to manipulate the EEG data using Python. Python, arguably one of the easier programming languages, would be a perfect option for making EEG data more comprehensible by filtering unwanted frequencies, setting minimum and maximum ranges, and extracting only useful data. My resources included: a comprehensive OpenBCI website with an entire Python Software section explaining how to connect hardware to software Multiple GitHub repositor

How Did We Get to This Point?

When you think of the past, what do you think of? Black and white movies? Big, chunky computers? Typewriters? Well, little did you know, neurotechnology, although it seems very advanced today, stemmed from the early half of the 1900's. But specifically, when and where did neurotechnology start? What were some of the biggest landmarks in the past that allowed for us to make the sort of progress we are making today? Let’s take a look at a brief history of neurotechnology and brain-computer interface (BCI), and its evolution throughout the years. If you want to learn more about BCI and how it works, be sure to check out Manya’s (who is also a member of the BCI team) posts on the blog page! 1929

The Science Behind Obtaining Brain Waves

Understanding EEGs Can you say “electroencephalogram” five times, fast, without tripping up? I sure can’t, but fortunately I don’t need to pronounce it to explain how it works in this blog post! Here’s your one sentence summary for what an electroencephalogram, or EEG, does: Metal electrodes attached to your scalp detect your brain wave activity and transmit the data to a devices where it can be analyzed. Unlike other methods, EEGs are noninvasive which means there is no surgery involved to attach electrodes to a patient’s head, but the data it procures can still help diagnose serious issues like epilepsy, sleep disorders, strokes, dementia, the presence of brain inflammation or tumors, and

UCLA's World of Neurotechnology

Let’s face it: UCLA is a huge research institute, so it may be difficult sometimes to find exactly the research that interests you the most. If you are looking to get involved in research involving neurotechnology, then you are in the right place! UCLA’s very own professors are doing some amazing work with neurotechnology, and below are a couple of those researchers as well as the research their lab does. Let's dive right into it! 1.) Dr. Shafali Jeste At the Center for Autism Research and Treatment at UCLA, Dr. Shafali Jeste uses high density electroencephalograms (EEGs), which electrically image brain activity, to target brain biomarkers related to autism or other neurodevelopmental disord

Putting the Pieces Together

UCLA Students Try Brain Hacking, Part 1 Our beautiful OpenBCI equipment finally arrived in the mail, so over the past couple weeks, we had the chance to put together our first brain computer interface! Fortunately, with the help of several online guides and video tutorials, we were able to put the system together without too much difficulty. While our future goals include building our own circuit board, we decided to start our adventures in BCIs by working with OpenBCI’s EEG headband kit (left, picture via OpenBCI) and Ganglion board (down to the right, picture via OpenBCI.) The kit came with the black headband piece, 2 ear clip electrodes, and several wires that connected to either dry elec

New Year, New-rotechnology

Happy New Year! 2019 is here, and to celebrate I’m going to share a couple neurotechnology companies that might just be able to help you with those New Year’s Resolutions. I will also provide a link to the company website at the end of each description so you can check them out for yourself. Cheers to an exciting year ahead full of new adventures, accomplishments, and neurotechnology! Modius Health: ModiusHealth is a company targeted towards helping consumers increase fitness and lose weight (*ahem* hit them up if you might need help with this New Year’s Resolution). It targets people’s diets long term by minimizing unhealthy cravings (ie - carbohydrates) and appetite altogether. The headset

STIMO: From Paralysis to Mobility

Imagine being told that you will never be able to walk again. Injury to the spinal cord has immobilized many people all around the world. But what if there was a way to reverse paralysis? One recent development made by Dr. Gregoire Courtine’s lab in Switzerland called Stimulation Movement Overground, or STIMO, may be that solution. STIMO can help people with paralysis (specifically leg paralysis in this case due to spinal cord injury) be able to regain some movement in their legs and thus step outside of the wheelchairs they thought they would be confined to for their entire lives. While this outcome may seem relatively simplified, the actual technique is very complicated. The lab created st

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