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Virtual Avatar Help People with Gait Disabilities

There is new research done by the researchers from the University of the Houston. They show that the use of the brain-computer line amplified with a virtual walking avatar can control gait. This also helps patient to recover soon and also gives them the strength of walk after the stroke, some spinal cord injuries, and some other walk disabilities.

The researchers did their work at the University of Noninvasive Brain-Machine Interface System Laboratory. The first clue which they exhibit that a brain-computer interface can endorse and increase cortical involvement during walking. This study is funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke and this was published in the “Scientific Reports” this week.

Cullen professor of the electrical and computer engineering at UH Mr. Jose Luis Contreras-Vidal said they will make it possible that it is also available to other researchers. He is the senior author of the paper also. He said that this work is also done in other primates but they are the first to involve humans. This professor is also the site director of the BRAIN Center (Building Reliable Advances and Innovation in Neurotechnology), a National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center.

The professor Contreras-Vidal and other researchers with him in his lab use non-invasive nursing to regulate what parts of the brain are tangled in a motion, using that data to create a procedure, or a brain-machine line, which can interpret the subject’s meanings into action.

The other researchers along with Contreras are the first author Trieu Phat Luu, a research fellow in neural engineering at UH; Sho Nakagome and Yongtian He, and the graduate students in the UH Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

They wrote about this study: “Voluntary control of movements is crucial for motor learning and physical rehabilitation. Our results suggest the possible benefits of using a closed-loop EEG-based BCI-VR (brain-computer interface-virtual reality) system in inducing voluntary control of human gait.”

In this study, the collected data was from eight healthy subjects all of them participated in three trials which involved walking on the treadmill while they were observing an avatar displayed on a monitor. The participants were tailored with 64-channel headset and motion sensors at the hip, ankle joint, and knee.

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