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MindReader TM Neural Impulse Actuator Hands-free
Computer Access System


Brain & Facial Gesture Computer Control Interface
 Required Training
Four 30 minute Individualized Live Training sessions with Dr. Andrew Junker!
Contact us for more information on Medicare Funding
MindReader TM
Black NIA Interface Box
only 4.1"x3.1"x1.2"!
Headband, sensor holders, & 3 sensors
6 extra sensors
Tube of Cybergel
Software & User Manual CD
Serial Cable
Grounding Strap for laptop
Free Software Upgrades
110V Power Supply/AC Adapter
Setup Support & Training
The ultimate in hands-free computer control! New version 2 EMG switch and 10 levels of control EEG headband with eye tracking using extra sensitive carbon nanofiber-based sensors and simple USB interface! Ideal for people with more limiting disabilities such as CP, ALS, MD, MS, and TBI who are unable to communicate or interact with devices otherwise. The keys to unlocking many who are otherwise considered "locked in"!


MindReader TM


da Vinci Award
National Business and Disability Council's Product of the Year Award
National Institutes of Health Research Grants


Images to right are of product for gaming, headband for disabled offers high quality sensitivity and durability
What it does
MindReader TM NIA Computer Access System software allows you to control your computer totally hands-free. You can control most AAC software, educational software and video games.  The MindReader TM NIA Access System  is a sophisticated biofeedback device designed to be used by a broad range of people with disabilities; from minor to severe.  Even users with minimal ability to control facial muscles can usually learn how to map “clicks” to a number of special controls.


How it works
You wear the MindReader TM headband which detects electrical signals from your facial muscles, eye movements, and brainwaves. The  MindReader TM software decodes these signals into virtual fingers or Brain Channels which trigger mouse and keyboard events to control third party software such as Dazzle, Ezkeys, Wivik, Reach, IntelliTools, Dynavox for Windows software, The Grid, Gaze Talk, etc.  The  MindReader TM Neural Impulse Actuator can be used in combination with Head-Tracking devices such as SmartNav.  


Who can use it
People with severe and multiple disabilities have success with the Neural Impulse Actuator. Computer access and communications has been achieved by persons with disabilities such as CP, ALS, MD, MS, TBI, and Spinal Cord Injury.  See Success Stories for some examples of some of the people who use the Neural Impulse Actuator for computer access.



How to Obtain


MindReader TM is not complicated, and control with the EMG switch capabilities can be implemented quickly. However the more advanced features do require dedication and practice. Like an athlete, it takes practice to learn to control one's body. Training is typically broken into 4 sessions and provided to the person primarily assisting the disabled individual, often a family member or friend. Alternatively, training can be provided to a therapist or other professional who will be working with the disabled individual consistently over a longer period of time.


Since many users may have good and bad days or may only be able to concentrate at working with the equipment for 30 minutes to an hour at a time, neither Dr. Junker nor Broadened Horizons is able to fly to your home, to provide on-site training. Some local providers/resellers may the able to assist you in your home. Broadened Horizons cannot bill your insurance on your behalf. Most insurance companies require a local provider/installer within your state who would purchase the MindReader TM hardware and software on your behalf and then manage billing your insurance. Always start by obtaining a doctors prescription/referral. Once a local provider/installer has gone through training and is familiar with MindReader TM, they may provide training to the end-user and primary assistant/family member, however MindReader TM will not be sold unless a qualified individual is available to provide training and setup support.


If a local service provider comes to your home repeatedly, the cost of training and support services may be equal to or even greater than the cost of the hardware and software, but these services may be covered by insurance or funding provider when medically justifiable.


Black NIA Interface Box
only 4.1"x3.1"x1.2"!
Headband, sensor holders, & 3 sensors
6 extra sensors
Tube of Cybergel
Software & User Manual CD
Serial Cable
Grounding Strap for laptop
Free Software Upgrades
110V Power Supply/AC Adapter
Setup Support & Training


Details of How It Works


The hands-free access solution includes the Neural Impulse Actuator hardware and software. The hardware consists of a headband, interface box and connecting cables. The Neural Impulse Actuator Software includes training software and universal software access.
The headband senses and responds to surface electrical signals generated from muscle, eye movement, and brainwave activity detected at your forehead. Three sensors mounted inside the headband are used to detect the forehead signal.. The headband connects to the interface box which filters, amplifies and digitizes your forehead signal.
The interface box connects to your computer through a serial or USB port, The Neural Impulse Actuator Software further amplifies your forehead signal and uses patented algorithms to decode your forehead signal into separate frequency bands or channels of information. Each channel or band becomes a virtual finger or Brain Channel. The total amplification of the resulting Neural Impulse Actuator Channels is over two million. In this way your Neural Impulse Actuator Channels become responsive to the subtlest of facial muscle, eye and brainwave activity. The software computes a total of eleven Neural Impulse Actuator Channels. These eleven Neural Impulse Actuator Channels span the controllable frequency range of your forehead signal. The three lowest Neural Impulse Actuator Channels are responsive to your lateral eye movements. The next three Neural Impulse Actuator Channels are responsive to alpha brainwaves. The next four Neural Impulse Actuator Channels are responsive to beta brainwaves and the highest Brainwave is responsive to your facial muscle activity.
The software includes a number of training windows designed to help you learn to bring your Neural Impulse Actuator Channels under conscious control. Included with the training windows are help windows and adjustment windows to help you find how to control your Neural Impulse Actuator Channels. Once control is mastered you use a launch window to first build links between your Neural Impulse Actuator Channels and computer events needed to control third party software. You use these links to provide universal access, allowing you to control most 3rd party software.
If for example you had ALS and you could only control your jaw muscle, you could use the 11th Brain Channel as a switch to control an on-screen keyboard such as Words+ Ezkeys in a switch-scanning mode.
Neural Impulse Actuator Channels are used to control the up-and-down and the left-and-right movements of the mouse cursor; affect visual and musical biofeedback displays, and can be user-formatted to control mouse button and keyboard commands. Eye movements and facial gestures can be separately “mapped” (or recognized) to control user-formatted mouse keyboard functions and software commands. Individual control formats and adjustments are then easily made by using the user-friendly graphical interface.
We provide the link Technical Details if you want a more in-depth discussion of the technical aspects of the Neural Impulse Actuator Solution. We provide the link Neural Impulse Actuator Software for those who want a more detailed discussion of the software.
Discovery Channel KAPOW! Superhero Science - Neural Impulse Actuator 3 minute Video
Windows Media Format:


MPEG Format:


 Success Stories

The experiences of Neural Impulse Actuator users are truly amazing. These are stories from people that have deeply inspired us.  Through this page, we hope to share with you how the Neural Impulse Actuator has helped and expanded the horizons of these extraordinary people.


New! The Neural Impulse Actuator is now also being used to create music!  Recently development was begun to incorporate Stephen Malinowski's wonderful program Tapper. With Stephen's and Brian Bamford of Drake Music Scotland's help the Neural Impulse Actuator now also works as an input controller for Tapper.


Although some of these narratives are from our case files, most are remarkably in their own words:
Dani Marler (Educator of Students with severe disabilities)
Carla (person with CP)
Alston (person with ALS)
Sunil (person with ALS)
Robert [person with ALS)
Therese (person with CP)
Deborah (person with Repetitive Strain Injury)
Christer (person with Spinal Cord Injury)
"Carol" (person with TBI)
Jeremy (person with TBI)
"Ronni" (person with TBI)


 The following success story is written about special education teacher Danise M. Marler, M.A., Sp. Ed.. and her students. The story is taken from the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) Newsletter on Educational Programs. Dani's excellent work also earned her a Master's Degree from CSUN. Part of her work for the degree involved a case study using the Neural Impulse Actuator with her students. You can download her Case Study here as a .pdf file.
Since childhood, special education teacher Dani M. Marler has wanted to be the next Annie Sullivan, the “miracle worker” who opened up the world for Helen Keller. That day may have come. Marler is working little miracles for her students with profound multiple disabilities at LACOE’s Lincoln School in San Gabriel thanks to a hands-free computer controller. Its use is opening up a new world for students who previously had no meaningful access to technology for communication, learning and fun. “I’ve always believed my students can do so much more than they’ve been assessed” Marler says. Most of her middle school-age students are considered to function at a cognitive level of less than 18 months of age. They cannot walk or talk. “These students haven’t been able to use any existing technology to access computers, including a single switch device no matter where it is located on or around their bodies” she says.
Always on the lookout for new technologies that would aid her students Marler discovered “Neural Impulse Actuator”. Convinced this could make a difference for her students, Marler obtained a grant to bring the technology into her classroom. The remarkable results are now the subject of her master’s thesis. Marler studied the progress over eight weeks of four students ranging in age from 9 to 19 who used the Neural Impulse Actuator one hour a day, twice a week. During this time she observed: Increase attention span – from 30 seconds to more than 30 minutes Student’s successful use of toddler reading programs and video games Improved social and emotional outcomes, including increased desire to learn Recently in Marler’s classroom, student Briana is engrossed in a game of video “Pong” smiling when she scores points. Not long ago, the 19 year-old spent most of her day impassive in her wheelchair. Briana’s mother, Lorraine says the change in her daughter since using the Neural Impulse Actuator is amazing. “She’s more focused, her entire demeanor has changed. She’s alert and her eyes respond when she looks at things” Marler says, “These students now have something they’ve never had before, and this is just the start – who knows where they can go”


 The following letter was written by Carla using her Neural Impulse Actuator system. Carla lives in Italy. We recently visited with Carla and our distributor in Northern Italy Cooperative Sociale SIM-PATIA. Carla wrote the email in Italian and Nicola Libonie was good enough to include a translation.
This italian email has fully been written by Carla! I only traslated her text :-( Nicola Libonie, Sim Patia


 “My name is Alston Daniel; I have had ALS for thirteen years since I was twenty-six. ALS was constantly robbing me control of my muscles. As this was happening I was constantly trying to adapt to an ever-changing life style. I found myself becoming more dependent on my computer for daily activities. It was my most valuable asset. As time past, it was becoming ever so more difficult and exhausting to operate. Little did I know I was beginning a long journey of computer access devices, which would prove to be of short-term use and position sensitive; i.e. one must be directly in front of device. If body is jarred or moved accuracy of device is compromised.
In January 2002, I went into respiratory failure; an emergency tracheostomy was performed. From that point on I was completely trapped in my body. Unable to move, now unable to communicate, At this point I had no interest in living this way. When I returned home from the hospital I frantically searched for a device which would allow me to access my computer with little or no movement. Using my communication board, I told my wife, I found it. She looked at Neural Impulse Actuator with skepticism, reminding me of previous computer access devices I have used. When I received my Neural Impulse Actuator and started using it, I told her there was no comparisons of Neural Impulse Actuator to any other computer access devices on the market. One would think Neural Impulse Actuator came from a Hollywood movie, but it did not. Team BAT, thank you for giving me so much back which ALS has taken from me. I now can use a computer like any other able person. I am now communicating with family and friends, taking online classes, doing my banking and much-much more, all fast and efficient. Best of all, I can use my computer in any position, while having PT, in the van etc. Neural Impulse Actuator is fantastic!
Oh, my nurses said thank you; they do not have to use communication board any more.
Again, thank you,


 I am a person with ALS also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. I was diagnosed in 1991 and I had to go on a ventilator in late 1995. I have been under the care of Dr. Joshua Benditt since 1994. Today I am completely paralyzed from head to toe except for my eyes and jaw. I need 24 hour skilled nursing care. I have been lucky to live at home with the full support of my wife Urmi, daughter Devki, and son Vishal. ALS progressively paralyzes all the voluntary muscles.
The most crucially important thing in having an acceptable quality of life for me was the ability to access and control a computer. This would give me a way to communicate, be productive and access the world. When I lost the use of my hands, I used the mouse with my foot. As the disease progressed, I had to resort to more and more sensitive switches which I could click with a minute movement of the head. Finally, at the end of 2000, I had lost all ability to activate any physical switches.
That’s when I discovered the quality-of-life saving Neural Impulse Actuator! Neural Impulse Actuator, the brain actuated computer interface. It's quite amazing! At it's most elementary level, a headband picks up voltage created by muscle movements such as jaw close and eyebrow lift to cause a click or switch close action. At it's most sophisticated it picks up certain brain waves to click, point and control a mouse.
I am currently using Neural Impulse Actuator to operate my Wivik on screen keyboard. Works great! Andrew Junker has been very helpful in getting me going in just one day. Besides the obvious breakthrough technology, the software is very thoughtfully designed and easy to use for the profoundly disabled. It can be fine tuned in several ways to pick up the faintest signal.
I use Neural Impulse Actuator to activate as on-screen keyboard, Wivik, which allows me to speak, write and work with Windows programs. I manage the family finances using Microsoft Money, communicate with family in India using Microsoft Outlook, research anything and everything using Internet Explorer. These types of programs have been a great contributor to my quality of life and also have made me more than a little bit productive. I am currently working on several projects. I am helping an Indian firm develop special communications software for Dr. Stephen Hawking. I am beta testing next generation Wivik software from the Bloorview McMillian Children’s Center in Ontario .
Neural Impulse Actuator has made my life fun again!
Seattle, WA


 Therese, with the help of Stefan Dellenborg and others, has achieved successful communication using the Neural Impulse Actuator. Therese is 24 years old and has severe Cerebral Palsy. Prior to using the Neural Impulse Actuator she could not use any computer access device for communication. Initial work with the Neural Impulse Actuator indicated that she could not successfully control the device with forehead muscle activation. Control was next attempted with various brainwave signals. After a month of practice with the Neural Impulse Actuator she could control a brainwave frequency band centered at 21.25 Hz with consistency.
She now uses an on-screen keyboard called Clicker 4. The Clicker 4 software is setup to run in a scan and click mode. The software displays grids with symbols shown in the grids. The symbols are part of what is called “bliss symbols”. The software scans through the grids and Therese increases the brain frequency amplitude at the appropriate time to cause the amplitude to cross a threshold, which results in sending a click signal to Clicker 4. Today Therese can type text and express what she wants and what she feels. For more information and photos of Therese.


 Ed. Note: This user has Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). She is a computer program that is now able to work 8 hours and not be hampered by RSI because she can achieve computer control by combining the Neural Impulse Actuator with Naturally Speaking voice software.
“Dear BAT:
Just a very quick note to thank you again for the long-gesture toggle between full mouse and multiple clicks launch. I am using it constantly and am extremely thankful every time I use it! It really is changing my work pattern and making it much easier to read and concentrate on what I'm trying to do. It is also very useful for stabilizing the mouse even if I'm not particularly interested in the exact location of it.
I tried to achieve the same thing with voice macros, but the result was not nearly as good because during the elapsed time the mouse moved so I could not pinpoint a target and leave the mouse position on it. This is nearly instantaneous and the jaw gestures are very subtle and not uncomfortable so they did not discourage very frequent transitions between modes. I really hadn't conceived of such a frequent switching of modes and its advantages until the future actually appeared.
The other thing I have discovered is that the Naturally Speaking feature that used to drive me nuts which is that it actually gets focus to a control when you click with your voice, works wonderfully for positioning the mouse which I then freeze at that location with the Neural Impulse Actuator allowing me to repeat the action (for example when ignoring changes using grammar check in Microsoft Word).
Anyway, I am still getting a little surge of excitement every time it works although I'm sure eventually I will take for granted.
Thanks again, Deborah”

 Ed. Note: This user had a spinal cord injury and had no means of computer access until they found the Neural Impulse Actuator.
“Dear BAT:
Christer, a Norwegian in his early twenties, had a serious accident in the summer of ’98. After critical care he was transferred to the Spinal Cord Injury Unit at Haukeland University Hospital for rehabilitation. He suffered a spinal cord injury at the C1 level, and is paralyzed from his head down. He is not able to speak, and he is using a ventilator. His vision is reduced, and initially he frequently had to cover up one eye due to infection. In addition the injury caused a cognitive disorder, and Christer has problems with his memory. Initially, the only way to communicate with Christer was by asking yes/no questions, and he would answer by moving his eyes.
One of our challenges was to find a way for him to control a computer. This would not only be important for communication, but would also give him the possibility to control his environment (stereo, TV, VCR). First we tried a muscle-sensor placed between his eyebrows. Raising his eyebrows would then trigger the sensor and give a signal to the computer.
This worked, but it had some major drawbacks. The sensor had to be placed very accurately in the correct position. The gain of the sensor had to be adjusted before every session, and it often had to be readjusted during the session. After a few minutes of use, his muscles started to tire. Small muscle-spasms would then develop, and these spasms would trigger the sensor and give false signals. As a total, this solution did not function. It was too difficult to set-up, and even when set-up properly it was not reliable enough. At this time we were constantly searching for better switches. We tried a few other arrangements, but nothing worked well enough.
After about a year, we ran across the Neural Impulse Actuator. Even though we thought the Neural Impulse Actuator primarily was intended for more complex use then what Christer was ready for, we soon realized Neural Impulse Actuator’s great potential as a single switch. Here we had a sensor that was truly flexible. We could customize filters, threshold-values and more for our requirements, and the headband was easy to put on. We learned that the system did not require any further calibration prior to each session. And best of all, the system was very accurate. After an initial trial-period, we had a few suggestions for improvements that would benefit our user greatly. We contacted BAT, and they were willing to update the software and incorporate our suggestions.
The result is great! Christer is now using the Neural Impulse Actuator on a daily basis. Primarily it is used for communication, together with an on-screen keyboard (Flexisoft) and scan. Letters are then sent to MS-word, were he may print out the result when finished. The computer is also used for educational purposes, and he has weekly sessions with his teacher. In addition, he can control the CD player, play mp3 music-files, control a TV-tuner and look through pictures in his own digital photo-album. When we started using the Neural Impulse Actuator, we didn’t know what to expect. By this time Christer had some bad experience, and he did not enjoy using the computer at all. With the Neural Impulse Actuator, we initially focused on confidence building. Slowly, Christer started enjoying working with the computer again. He learned new tasks much quicker than we expected, and he is now performing way beyond our wildest expectations.
Best regards,
Bent Hamnes
Haukeland University Hospital

 "Carol," (not her actual name) is an18-year-old girl, and a student at Success for Kids School, Loma Linda CA. Struck by a motor vehicle at the age of 11, she suffered a traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, spastic quadriplegia and scoliosis. She was diagnosed in a Persistive Vegetative State (PVS) following emergency treatment at the time of the accident. Before training on the Neural Impulse Actuator she could track visually, use eye-blink to indicate yes/no and use switches with physical prompting but displayed no voluntary motor control.

Success for Kids School started training her on the Neural Impulse Actuator. She quickly acquired skill in moving the cursor in the vertical axis with only verbal prompts. By training day 28, the attending neurologist observed the trials and removed the PVS diagnosis. Short story materials were introduced on day 43. She was able to use the Neural Impulse Actuator click function to turn 'pages' in the on-screen book. By training day 155, she demonstrated reliable control of the vertical, horizontal and diagonal movement of the cursor. This enabled her to utilize the computer mouse to operate several instructional software programs. She continues to need some verbal prompting to complete tasks, but has demonstrated more frequent independence. At training day 150, she lifted her arm to place her hand on a switch to turn on a tape player. This response was not part of the training program.


 Jeremy, 17 years of age, suffered traumatic brain injury, and was in a coma for 8 months. As a result, he had very little control of his environment and minimal speech and language skills. Dr. Mary Christen has used the Neural Impulse Actuator with Jeremy approximately 3 days per week, one or two sessions per day, and 20 minutes per session. Since using the Neural Impulse Actuator, Dr. Christen and Jeremy’s mother report that he is showing signs of improvement in both fine and gross motor skills, and improvement in the quality and quantity of speech and language, something that had not been happening prior to the introduction of the Neural Impulse Actuator. Jeremy had little or no control of his environment before his exposure to the Neural Impulse Actuator. He is now successful at controlling a computer with the Neural Impulse Actuator and able to pursue leisure time activity (playing of video games etc.) that look like activities performed by an able bodied person.


 “My name is Robertl. In November of 1996 I was diagnosed with ALS. As I watched my body melt away, I searched for ways to adapt to my constantly changing body. This disease doesn't stop at just the arms and legs. It also affects speech, swallowing, and ultimately breathing. For about a year and a half I was able to use a laser light fastened to a hat and a letter board. That system worked for a while but I knew I would need some other kind of communication device but my search didn't turn up with anything that worked very well or that would satisfy my particular needs. I was at the end of my rope. I wondered how long I could go on without being able to communicate. Communication is part of what makes us human. I was very discouraged.
Then my nephew discovered Neural Impulse Actuator. My first thought was here we go again, another disappointment. I was never so wrong in my life. With very little practice I found myself moving around my computer screen easily. I use my eyes to move the cursor left and right and my eyebrows for up and down movement and my jaw for clicking. The ability to communicate was stolen away from me by ALS, Neural Impulse Actuator has given it back to me. When combined with EZ Keys there isn't anything I can't do on my computer. I can spend however much of my life I have left, talking with family and friends, which has improved my quality of life tremendously. My days went from long and meaningless to short and fulfilling. I urge anyone with impaired motor skills to give it a try.”
 Deb Parker writes: “One of our students ("Ronni" not her actual name), 24 years of age, suffered a traumatic brain injury nine years ago. She has spastic quadriplegia, no head control, and no speech and is unable to sit unsupported. Both her upper and lower extremities are severely contracted from the years of spasticity. There is no facial movement. She is unable to even swallow her saliva. She is tube fed. She is just beginning to be able to make guttural noises.
When released from the hospital she remained in a comatose state with response to painful stimulus. Over the years and with numerous interventions she has very slightly improved in responsiveness. She turns her head and eyes in the direction of familiar voices. She moves her thumb upward in response to questions 20 percent of the time. She extends her right lower extremity on command 30 percent of the time. However, she also holds the right lower extremity extended for up to an hour at a time for no apparent reason.
She has been unable to consistently answer questions or interact with family or peers. We continued to feel that there was some type of awareness but could not find a way for her to consistently demonstrate that she did have an increased level of consciousness.
In August of 2001 she received her Neural Impulse Actuator with a laptop computer. At that time when connected to the Neural Impulse Actuator unit only the low frequency theta waves and alpha waves registered any type of movement. When using the slow ball game she was able to connect most often using the theta waves. She was able to move the paddle up and down in pong also using the theta waves.
She worked a half hour five days a week on the Neural Impulse Actuator system as a part of her school program. She played slow ball, pong and grow. By December we were seeing sporadic movement in the beta wave graph when she used the Neural Impulse Actuator. During the slow ball game she was able to connect with the white ball occasionally at the beta wave level. While observing her in April it became apparent that the activity at the beta level has now surpassed the alpha level. She is now using Brain Channel F9 to control the mouse click and the paddle in pong. The speed of the ball was reduced and she is now able to beat the computer at pong.
There continues to be no facial response from her. Her upper and lower extremities remain rigid and she has no head control. She does vocalize much more, apparently when things are not happening the way she would like. Because of the Neural Impulse Actuator we have a way to test her level of consciousness. She is able to exert control over something. We are hoping she will reach a level of consistency that will allow her to use the Neural Impulse Actuator for simple yes/no communication. The Neural Impulse Actuator has given us something for her to work on in the school setting. Until now the only thing we were able to provide to her was custodial care.”
Deb Parker PTA
Millet Learning Center
Saginaw, MI 48601


 Technically Speaking


The increasing sophistication of computer programs and communication systems requires the development of more efficient, intuitive and interactive human-computer input interfaces.
Similarly, computer hardware is miniaturizing; becoming less cumbersome and more portable at an incredible rate. What was on your desktop yesterday, is on your laptop or palmtop today and will be on your wrist watch or ring tomorrow…fully integrated with your home PC and the NET.
Imagine having to carry a ‘qwerty’ keyboard and mouse in your briefcase or pocketbook to use with your wrist watch computer and eyeglass monitor! Input devices will have to miniaturize as well and become more direct, intuitive and able to be used while your hands (and part of your attention) are engaged elsewhere.
The Neural Impulse Actuator Solution represents this next step in the evolution of the human-computer input interface. The system is a Brain-Body actuated control technology that combines eye-movement, facial muscle, and brain wave bio-potentials detected at the user’s forehead to generate computer inputs that can be used for a variety of tasks and recreations.
The forehead is a convenient, noninvasive measuring site rich in a variety of bio-potentials. Signals detected by three plastic sensors in a headband are sent to an interface box which contains a bio-amplifier and signal processor. The interface box connects to the PC computer’s serial port. The forehead signals are amplified, digitized and translated by a patented decoding algorithm into multiple command signals, creating an efficient, intuitive and easily learned hands-free control interface.
Three different types or channels of control signals are derived from the forehead signal in the interface box. The lowest frequency channel is called the ElectroOculoGraphic or EOG signal. This is a frequency region of the forehead bio-potential that is responsive primarily to eye movements. The EOG signal is typically used to detect left and right eye motion. This signal can be mapped to left and right cursor motion or on/off switch control.
The second type of control signal is called the ElectroEncephaloGraphic or EEG signal. The Neural Impulse Actuator Software furhter subdivides this region into ten component frequency bands called ‘Brain Channels’. These frequencies reflect internal mental/brainwave activity as well as subtle facial muscle activity. A wide range of facial muscles affect these frequency bands. Users typically learn control of their Brain Channels first through subtle tensing and relaxing of various muscles including forehead, eye and jaw muscles. After a little experience with the Neural Impulse Actuator System, most users begin to experiment with more efficient, internal brain-based control methods. Since this frequency region is sensitive to both mental and muscular signals it is called the ‘BrainBody’ signal.
Brain Channel control is continuous or analog and is typically used for such things as control of cursor vertical or horizontal movement. For example, one Brain Channel may be used to control vertical movement while a second Brain Channel (or other signal channel) is used to control horizontal movement.
The third channel is called the ElectroMyoGraphic or EMG signal. The EMG signal primarily reflects facial muscle activity. It is typically used in the Neural Impulse Actuator System for discrete on/off control of program commands, switch closures, keyboard commands, the functions of the left and right mouse buttons, and up/down cursor motion.
In a Neural Impulse Actuator discrete control study conducted by the United States Air Force at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, subjects’ reaction times to visual stimuli were found to be 15% faster with the Neural Impulse Actuator EMG button than with a manual button.
Specific facial and eye movement gestures can be discriminated by the Neural Impulse Actuator software and mapped to separate mouse, keyboard, and program functions.
The continuous and discrete control capabilities of your Brain Channels can be mapped to computer events in the Launch window of the Neural Impulse Actuator software. This hands-free mouse enables the user to steer the cursor, change its speed and resolution, perform left and right mouse button functions, and send keyboard characters and character string commands.
In a recent study, users were able to use their Neural Impulse Actuator to position and click the cursor over randomly appearing 32 x 32 pixel (icon-sized) targets in 4 seconds or less.
Mapping your Neural Impulse Actuator to computer events makes hands-free two-axis control possible not only with the Neural Impulse Actuator specific games and applications, but also with third-party software; including popular interactive games, word processors, spread sheets, and Computer-Aided Design programs as well as special-needs software such as Words Plus EZ Keys, WiViK, Clicker, Reach, IntelliTools and Dynovox. Brain Channel control can be used for hands-free environmental control using an X-10 Home Controller relay for example to switch on and off an electric light, appliance, or communication device.
For individuals with limited control of their facial muscles, the Neural Impulse Actuator software can be formatted to use BrainBody or EOG inputs (instead of EMG) to activate switch closures and mouse button clicks.
The Neural Impulse Actuator Solution provides an intuitive, direct, easily learned, hands-free, language-independent universal control interface. It represents a cutting-edge technological achievement in the user-computer interface making possible new computer control methods to empower the disabled and all users of tomorrow’s technology.
 The Neural Impulse Actuator Software


System Overview


Although this website is not intended as a tutorial, we would like to show you the basics of how our software works. It consists of two main window groups; the Neural Impulse Actuator window group, and the Launch window group. The Neural Impulse Actuator windows teach you how to create "conscious control" of your Brain Channels or signals detected at your forehead with the headband. Several applications and games are included to help further understand and control your Brain Channels. After learning consistent control, the Launch windows are used to control the desktop and run third party applications.


 A description of the software along with a few examples of actual Neural Impulse Actuator users are shown below.
The Brain Channel Display Window
B1 thruB3 -- Lateral Eye Movement
B4 thru B6 -- Alpha Brain Resonance
B7 thru B10; Beta Brain Resonance
B11Facial Muscle Signal
Neural Impulse Actuator Training Windows
Brain Channel-Switch Adjust and Practice Window
On-Screen Keyboard Practice Window
Click Game Window
Brain Billiards Game Window
Grow Game Window
Pong Game Window
The Maze Game (Labyrinth) Window
Brain Channel-Mouse Setup and Practice
Tetris Game
The Launch Window
Launch Button Editor
Hands-Free Control


 The Brain Channel Display Window


The Brain Channel Display Window has two components: Brain Channels and the BrainBody signal.
The top component has the most practical use for people new to this system and is composed of three color-coded groups of Brain Channels plus the yellow Muscle Brain Channel.


Learning how to control some or all of the four Brain Channel groups allows hands free control of the mouse's curser and computer. The BrainBody display at the bottom of the Neural Impulse Actuator Explorer window represents the signal from the user's forehead and is used to produce the first ten Brain Channels.


Let’s now take a closer look at the Brain Channel Display Window. Brain Channels are grouped into four sections which are fully user programmable. For most people, the Neural Impulse Actuator can be easily mastered by using the basic B2 and Muscle configurations. Because the software is fully configurable, people with special needs can also learn to control their computers using less common adjustments.


 The Brain Channel sections are as follows:


B1 thru B3 -- Lateral Eye Movement:


The lowest three Brain Channels are most responsive to lateral eye movements. For those of you who can easily control your eyes, we recommend using the B2 Brain Channel to control the left and right movements of your computer’s cursor.


In this Brain Channel display window, Joyce, the Current User, "became quiet" for a few moments and allowed all of her Brain Channels to "settle down." She then rapidly moved her eyes to the right which generated the Brain Channel B2 response.


 B4 thru B6 -- Alpha Brain Resonance:


The middle three Brain Channels are generally responsive to Alpha brain wave signals (along with minute electrical energy generated from faint muscle movements in and around the forehead).


Even though most users find it easier to control either the B7-thru-B10 or the Yellow Muscle Signal we feel it is valuable to practice controlling the Alpha Brain Channel in preparation for using B7-thru-B10 Beta Brain Channels.


Possible techniques for learning Alpha control are to relax your neck muscles and eye muscles, and quiet your mind. With a little practice a feeling can be observed that relates to an increase in the Alpha Brain Channels. We define this feeling as an “Alpha State.” Once this feeling is learned it can be used to enhance B7-thru-B10 Beta Brain Channel control.


The Brain Channel display window shown represents a specific moment in time for David, an experienced Neural Impulse Actuator user. To achieve the result shown, he intentionally generated an Alpha "resonance" at Brain Channel B5. To describe how he created this Brain Channel response, David said, “I relaxed the muscles in my face and neck, softened my eye muscles, and imagined there was an umbrella of quietness around my head.


 B7 thru B10; Beta Brain Resonance:


The B7-B10 Brain Channel range is available to users who have problems controlling facial muscles or who have difficulty controlling their muscle signal.


This range is sensitive to both “mental intention” and “broad-band muscle activity,” and combines with the user’s lessened muscle activity just enough to boost control of one of the B7-B10 Brain Channels (described below).


Brain Channel control can also be enhanced by using the “Alpha state” to create a “foundation” or “baseline.” Since “Alpha” is generally considered to be a “quiet mental state,” Alpha can be used from which to move into an active "mental state/subtle physical state" to intensify the desired Beta Brain Channel.


 B11 Muscle Signal:


The yellow B11 Muscle Signal is the easiest of all the Brain Channels to bring under conscious control. It is the signal most people use for to control the up/down movement of the cursor and to control "clicking."


For this screen shot, Joyce allowed all her Brain Channels to settle and then simply lifted an eyebrow to elevate the B11 Brain Channel. She can also generate the Muscle Brain Channel by tightening her jaw or by pressing her tongue onto the roof of her mouth.


 Brain Channels Training Windows
One of the Neural Impulse Actuator strongest features is its adaptability. Depending upon the user’s ability or even upon the user’s level of disability, a computer can be fully controlled by defining which Brain Channels to use.
Once the user becomes familiar with the various Brain Channel sections, the user can then begin to explore different ways to control and click the mouse. Some of the windows that are used to learn to control clicking and mouse movement are presented below:



 The Brain Channel-Switch Adjust and Practice Window

The Brain Channel software allows you to choose from any one of the 11 Brain Channels to become your computer mouse's "click button." An example of the Switch Adjust and Practice window is where you learn how to click and practice. The majority of people choose the yellow B11 Muscle Brain Channel for click-control because it is the both the quickest and easiest to learn; however, any one of the other Brain Channels can be used. For example, people who have little or no facial muscle control or people with involuntary muscle activity can use one of the other Brain Channels for click-control. Although the following demonstration windows may appear daunting at first glance, they will become familiar and easy to use after only a few practice sessions.
The Neural Impulse Actuator software allows you to create both "single" and "multiple" clicks. The Cyber-Switch window above shows an example of a multiple- click response. In this example, David first created a long click; then two short clicks in succession. This screen-shot was taken right after the software recognized " two clicks" as indicated by the Left double-click message above the two clicks. The software recognizes the difference between a " click" and a " long click" by determining the time David makes the click stay above the Click Line. Multiple clicks are therefore determined by the time between clicks. Of course, all these values are user adjustable.
There are many advantages to being able to control both single and multiple clicks using the Neural Impulse Actuator. Anytime you bring your click Brain Channel above the Click Line, you generate "clicks." Here are just a few examples of what can be done using Neural Impulse Actuator's hands-free click-control software:
Generating a single click is ideal for control of scan and click software.
Generating a double-click results in sending a left double mouse click to your computer and to whatever third-party software you are using.
Generating triple-click generates a "click and drag" which can then be "dropped" anywhere on the desktop or to whatever third-party software you are using.
Generating four-clicks in succession results in a right-mouse click.
The cursor can be toggled between high speed/low resolution and low speed/high resolution which makes it easier to click on small icons and other small targets.
As always, you can compensate for un-intentional muscle spasms and un-intentional repeated clicking by simply adjusting the software.


 On-Screen Keyboard Practice Window
As part of the Neural Impulse Actuator Explorer software, the On-Screen Keyboard is included for users to practice scan-and-click and point-and-click text entry as well to practice communicating using the software's powerful hands-free features. Shown below is a screen-shot of David's Keyboard/Button Control window in scan-and-click mode. David has just selected the letter “d” to be added to the already selected text “Hello worl” The scanning in this case went first by row, then by half row, and finally by letter. Note that the window gives you actual visual feedback of the click signal generated.
More than a learning tool, the Keyboard Buttons/Control menu allows you a number of ways to communicate. A full- keyboard layout can be selected as well as the option of using male or female voice synthesizers to "speak" what was typed.
As with all Neural Impulse Actuator windows, the Keyboard Buttons/Control window is fully user adjustable. For example, if David clicked on the menu item Click Adjust, he could adjust his click-signal's sensitivity and baseline position as well as the timing and minimum click width (which regulates the mode of click).


 Click Game Window
Included in the Neural Impulse Actuator Explorer package is the Click Game, which we developed as part of our National Institutes of Health (NIH) study. The game was created in order to collect performance data from the study's participants and although it is quite simple to use, we found that it became a good training tool and was valuable for quantifying a user's clicking ability and performance.
The goal of the game is to create a "hands-free" mouse click over one of four randomly appearing targets which will make it disappear. When the game is started, all four of the above colored targets disappear. As the targets randomly appear, the software waits for you to move the mouse "create" a click which will make the target disappear.
The response times are saved and summary statistics are given at the end of the game including a time history which can be accessed from the game's menu.


 Brain Billiards Game Window
Included with Neural Impulse Actuator Explorer software is Billiard Neural Impulse Actuator, another valuable tool for learning how to control and hone your brainwaves. Valuable for all new users who are learning to control their Brain Channels, Billiard Neural Impulse Actuator can be especially valuable for users with severe disabilities, such as for those with traumatic brain Injury as well as for people who may not appear to hear or understand instructions.
This is how it works: When you start the game, a yellow ball appears at the right side of the screen and slowly moves horizontally to the left. The object of the game is to move each of the 10 Brain Channel balls to intersect with the yellow ball. When successful, the software fills in the center of the ball as a confirmation that the ball was hit. This is how the balls are controlled:
The tops of the first 10 Brain Channel values (F1 – F10) are mapped to the ten colored balls.
Thus, if you move your eyes laterally, left or right, the three blue balls will move up.
If you intensify either your mental activity and/or your muscle activity, the four red balls will move up.
In most cases if you relax, all the balls will go down.
Once you learn to generate an Alpha relaxation, it becomes possible to elevate the three green balls while all the other balls go down.
As always, based upon specific needs, each of the Brain Channel values may be user defined.


 Grow Game Window
The Grow Game is another introductory game for learning how to control the cursor. Because it uses both visual and auditory feedback, it offers simple yet compelling feedback as a selected Brain Channel is controlled.
In this example, the small red square in the slide bar represents a chosen Brain Channel. Once the game is started, the colored circle grows when the signal (the red square in the left rectangle) goes above the green baseline. When the signal goes below the green baseline, the circle shrinks. As the circle changes size, musical notes are played which offers additional learning feedback.
This easy-to-use training tool allows you to select either the Up/Down or the Left/Right axis and which Brain Channel to control. Because The Grow Game gives such easy-to-understand visual and auditory feedback, it is a good learning tool for everyone; especially for people with severe disabilities. As with almost all of our software, helpers for severely disabled users can easily adjust the user's signal.


 Pong Game Window
Some of you may remember one of the earlier computer games called Pong. We recreated the game and included it in Neural Impulse Actuator Explorer because it is such an excellent way to learn how to control a single axis.
As shown in this example, the user controls the up/down paddle on the left and the computer controls the up/down paddle on the right. You can also reverse the axis to practice controlling a paddle on the bottom that moves left/right. You can change the game’s paddle size, the ball size and speed, and the computer’s “expertise.” As with all our software, adjustments are easily made through the Adjust Menu allowing you to control the signal and to map any one of the 11 Brain Channels to control the paddle.
This is how it works: Success in the game requires that you be able to intensify your Brain Channel to move the paddle up or to the right, depending upon what axis you are controlling, and to relax to move the paddle down or to the left. When engaged in the game the excitement of the ball coming towards your paddle tends to stimulate an emotional reaction, which adds an interesting complexity to the gaming experience.
In addition, each time you successfully return the ball or the computer returns the ball, the speed of the ball increases. Thus in the face of the excitement of the game you have to learn to control the paddle while being able to stay calm in order to “win.”
As with all the games included in Neural Impulse Actuator Explorer, the user is actually learning the necessary skills to control a curser’s up/down and left/right movement.


 The Maze Game (Labyrinth) Window
The Maze Game teaches you how to control the cursor’s up-down and left-right movement thorough a maze. With the cursor starting in the lower right hand corner of the screen, the task is to move it through the maze to reach the home box in the upper left hand corner.
Along with other skill-building “games,” the Maze teaches how to control two axes at the same time. It is designed to hone motor skills and to give feedback on how the user is doing. Using its built-in timer, the user can now begin to quantify the speed by which the cursor is controlled and the “success” that is achieved.
As with most other Neural Impulse Actuator Explorer windows, the user is given the ability to adjust the characteristics of individual Brain Channels being used to control the cursor. For example, cursor speed, sensitivity and baseline shift can be adjusted to affect the way the cursor moves in response to Brain Channel inputs. The game further prepares the user to actually control the mouse cursor on the desktop and thereby to control third party applications.


 Brain Channels-Mouse Setup and Practice
Once the user becomes increasingly comfortable with “clicking” and “moving the cursor in two axes,” the Cyber-Mouse Setup and Practice screen helps to combine; then refine, coordinate and control mouse movement and clicking.
In the window shown above, David just finished executing a long click that toggled cursor speed to “slow speed/high resolution.” The result is that the cursor now moves slower, and the message “Slow Speed” appears in the upper left corner of the cursor window. Note the yellow click line: In response to the click, the software presented the “Left Single Click” message and stopped the cursor for a user-designated length of time.
Just as with other windows, the user can adjust the Brain Channel settings for optimum personalized control. For instance: Under “Click Adjust,” the user can adjust the sensitivity and baseline of the click signal, as well as to adjust the various timing parameters that affect multiple click responsiveness. Under “Pointing Adjust,” the user can also select (along with other things) her/his desired cursor sensitivity, speed, and baseline shift.
As cursor and clicking becomes both easier and quicker, our mouse controlled games become increasingly fun to play and easier to master. More importantly as these skills are developed, the user is encouraged to use the CAT where the desktop is entered and third party programs are accessed…like being able to surf the internet!


 Tetris Game
One of the most fun and challenging computer games of all time, Tetris is provided to test and improve your ability to control your cursor and clicking. The task is to completely fill, from the bottom to the top, as many rows as possible using the “box-sets” that appear in different configurations at the top of the screen. As the box-sets appear one-by-one and slowly move downward toward the bottom, you control the left/right position of the Tetris box-set with your Left/Right cursor controlled Brain Channel. You can rotate the box-set with a click and you make the box-set drop to the bottom with a long click.
In the game above, David intentionally completed just one row and partially built up the other rows to illustrate what the game would look like. He was working with the yellow box set in the upper right of the playing field just before the picture was taken. The game is fun to play but be careful. As many players have discovered, Tetris can become addictive!


 Add/Edit Launch Buttons Editor
As basic skills are developed and refined, users can select and run virtually any program on their computer by using the Add/Edit Launch Buttons Editor. This window allows the user to select and name a computer program which appears as a “Launch Button.” For example, in the window above, David created a Launch Button for a program he wants to use hands-free and named it EZKeys Scan Windows XP.
The Add/Launch Buttons Editor also allows users to specify how they want to control the mouse and clicking. In the example above, David wanted EZKeys to respond to a right mouse click from the Neural Impulse Actuator. Thus, he selected Mode 4 (one of five modes of click-control possible).
Users can “map” Neural Impulse Actuator clicks (both short and long) to virtually any keyboard characters. For example, B11 could be selected for the Wivik program. The left arrow key could be selected for the Clicker-4 program (programs typically used by people with disabilities). Users can also specify if cursor movements are to be ”on or off” for the two axes of control. For example, the window above is set for “scan & click-control,” so the cursor movement buttons are off.


 Hands-Free Control
Computer Assistance Worth Waiting For:
It undeniably takes time for new users to learn how to use Brain Channels but the time invested in learning how to use this software is time well spent. Once the user finds a click-control mode that works consistently, the entire software package can be set to run totally hands-free.
In the hands-free mode, each program window displays an additional menu that is controlled hands-free by your Neural Impulse Actuator click. In the window shown above, David is now controlling his computer completely hands-free. David selected “Cyber-Switch” which brought up the Cyber-Switch sub menu. Note that “Typing” is highlighted in yellow. If David were to generate a click while “Typing” is highlighted, the Neural Impulse Actuator will open the “Typing” program.
Users have hands-free access to all the windows of the Neural Impulse Actuator software including making large and fine-tuning adjustments to all of Brain Channel’s settings, mapping, and scanning rates. In fact, anything that can be done with a mouse and a click can be done completely hands-free. By using the Launch window, the user can navigate to previously set launch buttons; start up, and run selected applications, totally hands-free.


MindReader TM Neural Impulse Actuator Hands-free Computer Access

MindReader TM Neural Impulse Actuator Hands-free Computer Access
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