Thursday June 20, 2019

Encephalophone : This Musical Instrument Lets Users Create Music With Mind

New 'hands-free' instrument lets you create music by thought alone

Encephalophone is a hands free musical instrument
Musical Notes. Pixabay

July 14, 2017:

A newly-developed musical instrument will now enable people to produce music with their minds without letting the use of hands on the device. The instrument called Encephalophone — “enceph” means “head” — is described in a paper published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

In the study, fifteen novice normal subjects were tested for their ability to hit target notes presented within a 5 min trial period. All 15 subjects were able to perform more accurately than a random note generation.

Researchers assume that this new instrument will rehabilitate patients with motor disabilities such as those from stroke and others.

Thomas Deuel, an author from the University of Washington explained, “The Encephalophone is a musical instrument that you control with your thoughts, without movement.”

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Deuel adds, “I am a musician and neurologist, and I’ve seen many patients who played music prior to their stroke or other motor impairment, who can no longer play an instrument or sing. I thought it would be great to use a brain-computer instrument to enable patients to play music again without requiring movement.”

The Encephalophone collects brain signals through a cap that transforms the signals into musical notes. The invention is combined with a synthesizer which allows the user to create music using a variety of instrumental sounds.

Music is already a great source to help people regain brain function, and the hands-free instrument could be used in this type of therapy. The authors write that combining the Encephalophone with physical therapy could help rewire key circuits in the part of the brain responsible for movement.

Over the decades, there have been numerous attempts to use brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) to produce music and met with some success. Advances in BCI technology are facilitating finer degrees of control over diverse technologies, making it possible for those who have lost control of limbs to walk, manipulate objects, or even drive again.

 “There is great potential for the Encephalophone to hopefully improve rehabilitation of stroke patients and those with motor disabilities,” Deuel remarked.


– Prepared by a Staff Writer at Newsgram

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Beware! Tobacco, Poor Diet, and Mental Disorders are Leading Causes of Poor Health and you may be at Risk too!

According to a new study, deaths from noncommunicable, or chronic, diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes have caused 72 percent of all deaths worldwide

poor health
A heavyset man rests on a bench in Jackson, Miss. (VOA)

London, September 15, 2017 : Heart disease and tobacco ranked with conflict and violence among the world’s leading cause of poor health and the biggest killers in 2016, while poor diets and mental disorders caused people the greatest poor health, a large international study has found.

The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, published in The Lancet medical journal, found that while life expectancy is increasing, so too are the years people live in poor health. The proportion of life spent being ill is higher in poor countries than in wealthy ones.

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“Death is a powerful motivator, both for individuals and for countries, to address diseases that have been killing us at high rates. But we’ve been much less motivated to address issues leading to illnesses,” said Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, which led the study.

He said a “triad of troubles” — obesity, conflict and mental illness — is emerging as a “stubborn and persistent barrier to active and vigorous lifestyles.”

Diet critical

The IHME-led study, involving more than 2,500 researchers in about 130 countries, found that in 2016, poor diet was associated with nearly one in five deaths worldwide. Tobacco smoking killed 7.1 million people.

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Diets low in whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds, fish oils and high in salt were the most common risk factors, contributing to cases of obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol.

The study found that deaths from firearms, conflict and terrorism have increased globally, and that noncommunicable, or chronic, diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes caused 72 percent of all deaths worldwide.

Heart disease was the leading cause of premature death in most regions and killed 9.48 million people globally in 2016.

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Mental illness was found to take a heavy toll on individuals and societies, with 1.1 billion people living with psychological or psychiatric disorders and substance abuse problems in 2016.

Major depressive disorders ranked in the top 10 causes of ill health in all but four countries worldwide.

The GBD is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation global health charity and gives data estimates on 330 diseases, causes of death and injuries in 195 countries and territories. (VOA)