JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Dec. 9 (UPI) -- U.S. neuroscientists say they have demonstrated brain waves can be used to type alphanumerical characters on a computer screen.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic's Jacksonville, Fla., campus said their study showed that people, by focusing on the letter "q" in a matrix of letters, for example, could "write" the letter on a brain-interfaced computer monitor.
The scientists said their finding indicates a mind-machine interface might one day help people with control disorders such as Lou Gehrig's disease and spinal cord injuries, or with prosthetic arms and legs.
"Over 2 million people in the United States may benefit from assistive devices controlled by a brain-computer interface," said Dr. Jerry Shih, who led the research. "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."
The study that included Dean Krusienski of the University of North Florida was presented this week in Boston during the annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society.