Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Brain Research: Researchers Reconstruct language brain waves – Wirtschaftswoche

Can we conclude on words or sentences of a subject alone from brain waves? Karlsruhe scientists has managed the first step in this direction.

Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have reconstructed directly from brain waves sounds, words and whole sentences. We analyzed data from the brainwaves of seven patients with epilepsy in the United States: you lay while talking directly to an electrode network of the cerebral cortex of the epilepsy treatment exposed anyway brain. Because with electrodes that are applied externally on the head and so measure the electrical activity of the brain, such specific records are not yet possible.

“For the first time we can observe the brain while speaking, “said computer science professor Tanja Schultz. The researchers can now watch how the brain plans the speech process and then the muscles of the organs of articulation on the neurons in the cerebral cortex activated before the actual language can be heard. Were


Visible activities with the help of colors: “The neural activity in the cerebral cortex can be displayed in color,” said Schultz. “Red and yellow colors indicate high activity at the location in the brain, and blue colors of a lower activity.”

The patient had previously been asked to speak certain texts – about a speech by former US President John F Kennedy or simple nursery rhymes.. So the researchers knew initially what sounds were when spoken and put on with the help of this brain waves databases using preproduction about 50 different sounds.

On the basis of algorithms of automatic speech recognition succeeded then, solely on the basis the brain waves to understand what was said. These sounds are considered in the context of words and whole set phrases. “We thus obtain meaningful results that are still far away in the detection accuracy of the acoustic speech recognition, but are very clear about the accident,” Schultz said.

crux of the four-year research has been the small data base of only seven patients, the presence of which in each case the highest five minutes language. The scientists therefore want to expand their analysis. In addition to a better understanding of the language processes of the so-called brain-to-Text could “be a building block to allow locked-in patients in the future a linguistic communication”.

When locked-in syndrome people are indeed conscious but almost completely paralyzed and unable to make the outside world to understand.


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