NeuroVigil's Brain Based Communication Project for ALS sufferers

"Dr. Low and his company have done some outstanding work in this field" - Stephen Hawking

In 2011, NeuroVigil launched an all out effort at the request of NeuroVigil advisor, Stephen Hawking, to come up with a computational cure for Locked-In Syndrome, with the goal of enabling ALS sufferers to keep being able to communicate... via their minds. In 2012, NeuroVigil began a clinical trial on ALS in Philadelphia in partnership with Terry Heiman-Patterson, and in 2013, Augie Nieto, who was introduced to NeuroVigil by Qualcomm chairman Paul Jacobs, became the first iBrain empowered ALS sufferer to spell a word with his mind: "communicate". In January 2014, a patent was submitted and accepted by the U.S. patent office for a method of extracting brain activity.

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More information:

Single-Channel iBrain EEG recordings were conducted in a high-functioning 70 year old ALS patient attempting to move one of four limbs after a verbal cue: the left and right hand and foot. Raw EEG signals were analyzed with the SPEARS algorithm in order to make high-frequency/low spectral power signals detectable. Concurrent video recordings were obtained. During the attempted movements, the subject's brain activity demonstrated distinct broad-spectrum pulses extending to the Gamma and ultra-high Gamma ranges. Such pulses were present in the absence of actual movement and absent when the subject was not attempting motion. Activity in the Alpha range was detected when the subject closed his eyes, as expected. The emergence of such high bandwidth biomarkers opens the possibility to link intended movements to a library of words and convert them into speech, thus providing ALS sufferers with communication tools more dependent on the brain than on the body.


If Hackers Inherit the Earth

July 1st 2013 - New York Times

"By seeing the activation of particular brain structures, we can tell, ‘Ah, this person is trying to move his hands,’ ” explains Philip Low.



Reading Stephen Hawking's Mind to Keep His Voice Alive
July 2nd, 2012 - TIME83



Stephen Hawking trials device that reads his mind
July 12th, 2012 - New Scientist120



Bits Daily Report: A Device to Read Your Thoughts
April 3rd, 2012 - New York TimesNYT1

The researchers traveled to Dr. Hawking's offices in Cambridge, England, fitted him with the iBrain headband and asked him ''to imagine that he was scrunching his right hand into a ball,'' Dr. Low said. The algorithm was able to discern Dr. Hawking's thoughts as signals.


A Little Device That's Trying to Read Your Thoughts
April 2nd, 2012 - New York TimesNYT1

"Dr. Low and his company have done some outstanding work in this field," Dr. Hawking said in a statement.


iBrain Headband Can Read Your Thoughts
April 9th, 2012 - Mashable72