The thought -translational device (TTD) consists of a training device and spelling program for the completely paralyzed using slow-cortical brain potentials (SCP). During the training phase, the self-regulation of SCPs is learned through visual-auditory feedback and positive reinforcement of SCPs; during the spelling phase, patients select letters or words with their SCPs. A psychophysiological system for detection of cognitive functioning in completely paralyzed patients is an integral part of the TTD. The neurophysiological and anatomical basis of SCP-regulation was investigated by recording of BOLDresponse in functional magnetic resonance imaging. Results showed involvement of basal ganglia and premotor cortex for required SCP positivity .The clinical outcome of 11 paralyzed patients using the TTD and quality of life of severely paralyzed patients is described.
In its present form, the core of the TTD consists of a single computer program that runs under all MS-Windows versions. This software contains the functions of electroencephalogram(EEG)-acquisition storage , signal processing ,classification ,and various applications for brain-computer -communication such as spelling .It was written in C++ for windows and uses the BCI-2000 common standard . The patient receives visual feedback on a separate monitor and /or auditory feedback. The TTD -software can be connected to several EEG -amplifier with a time constant of 16 sec is connected to an A/D -converter serving as the interface to the TTD .As this A/D-converter is also available for notebooks, a portable version of the TTD can also run on notebooks. An interface to an MRIcompatible 16-/32-channel EEG -amplifier allows the TTD to be used in functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI)-studies investigating the basic mechanism of EEG self-regulation. Its consists not only of clinical or engineering approaches to direct brain control, but will also open new horizons for basic systemic and behavioral neuroscience and the classification of brain states.
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