Archive for January 9th, 2009

First the housing bubble, then the bond bubble. See if you agree.

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EEG stands for electroencephalogram, a test of electrical activity in the brain. The usual applications of EEG tests are medical in nature, this list from WebMD:

Diagnose epilepsy and see what type of seizures are occurring. EEG is the most useful and important test in confirming a diagnosis of epilepsy.

  • Check for problems with loss of consciousness or dementia.
  • Help find out a person’s chance of recovery after a change in consciousness.
  • Find out if a person who is in a coma is brain-dead.
  • Study sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy.
  • Watch brain activity while a person is receiving general anesthesia during brain surgery.
  • Help find out if a person has a physical problem (problems in the brain, spinal cord, or nervous system) or a mental health problem.

Interestingly, recently EEG now has entertainment applications. As Mike Snyder reported in USA Today, a simplified form of EEG has been developed by NeuroSky for game applications. One interesting game is licensed by LucasArts as The Force Trainer:

The Force Trainer (expected to be priced at $90 to $100) comes with a headset that uses brain waves to allow players to manipulate a sphere within a clear 10-inch-tall training tower, analogous to Yoda and Luke Skywalker’s abilities in the Star Wars films.

In the Force Trainer, a wireless headset reads your brain activity, in a simplified version of EEG medical tests, and the circuitry translates it to physical action. If you focus well enough, the training sphere, which looks like a ping-pong ball, will rise in the tower.

Finally, a mind game that forces you to use your brain activity–literally.

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