Neuroscientists make headway turning thoughts into speech
Yesterday, February 1, 2012, I read an interesting report in USA Today by Dan Vergano. Titled, “Scientists tinker with mind-reading,” the article describes the findings of a study by Neuroscientists who have decoded brain noise into words. “The report raises the possibility that brain sensors could help people speak through a computer simply by thinking what they want to say.” As I read it, I wondered if Mike had been in contact with these scientists two years ago, when he expressed his dream wish.
On page 86 of Take Charge of Parkinson’s Disease, Mike described what a typical morning is like for him.
“Getting out of bed each morning, I begin by surveying my surroundings. Now, I’m getting closer to falling every time I get up–even from my chair. Am I on solid footing today? Is my cane beside me? If not, can I move without my cane? Next, where is it? I calculate how I can get my body to another place by locating furniture to hang on to, careful to anticipate the distance I can safely traverse. There’s always that walker lurking down in the basement. I do not want to fall, I know the consequences.
This is my valley. But every barrier is a springboard for a new direction of thought. I’d like to see an electronic device, laptop, with the capability of reading my brain waves, sensing my thoughts. By the touch of my finger this device could communicate my feelings in words like a normal conversation.”