[sdiy] brainwaves to CV :O)

Paul Burns paul at fitvideo.co.uk
Fri Sep 10 00:06:34 CEST 2010

I would challenge Scott's statement in that signals leave the human brain
all the time to induce muscle stimulation, inducing limbic movement and
speech just for starters...

We shall beg to differ.



-----Original Message-----
From: synth-diy-bounces at dropmix.xs4all.nl
[mailto:synth-diy-bounces at dropmix.xs4all.nl] On Behalf Of Scott Gravenhorst
Sent: 09 September 2010 22:48
To: synth-diy at dropmix.xs4all.nl
Subject: Re: [sdiy] brainwaves to CV :O)

The animal brain did not evolve in an evironment in which the animal
benefits from
signals that leave the brain for any reason.  Nor were there nor are there
any challenges
provided by nature which encourage or ellicit such benefits.  However,
animals did and do
benefit from the physical electrochemical connections to sensory organs and

Human beings which are also animals have evolved in the same or similar way
such that we
developed efficient connections from the brain to sensory organs and
muscles.  The use of
the sensory organs and muscles provided advantages for (at least) feeding
and breeding,
thus we prospered.  

The fact that some electrical signals can be detected by sensitive
electrical equipment
is, in my opinion, merely a side effect, a curiousity.  The human brain
certainly seems
capable of some amount of multitasking, such as walking while talking or
playing a
musical instrument in which the limbs (and other parts) are doing something
related, but different.  

The connections for muscle control come from specific parts of the brain
that evolved to
handle those specific functions effectively.  It may be more like
multiprocessing than
multitasking.  Because of the lack of encouragement/reward from evolution
for external
signal use (what in nature responds to such signals?) and because evolution
did produce
advanced connections for limbs and sense, I would have to agree with Barry
that the idea
of a mentally conducted piano concert will never be as good as one done with
hands and
other parts, mainly because we have real evolutionary advantages in using
our hands to
manipulate our physical world and we have no such advantages produced
because of
electrical activity that eminates from the skull.  

I think that the technology to even approach something like playing a fugue
from mental
electrical activity sensed by a machine are a very long way off.  Consider
also that the
brain is a three dimensional object and connecting to it's exterior surface
would at best
give only a blurred and distorted summing view of the multitude of
individual signals
generated within.  Separation of specific signals seems required for such a
task and at
present, the technology to do so doesn't exist.  (yes, I saw that "House"
episode and I
thought the same way Barry did: No - it doesn't work like that)

I would not discourage experimentation in this regard, but I personally hold
out little
hope for real success.

-- ScottG

-- Scott Gravenhorst
-- FPGA MIDI Synthesizer Information: home1.gte.net/res0658s/FPGA_synth/
-- FatMan: home1.gte.net/res0658s/fatman/
-- NonFatMan: home1.gte.net/res0658s/electronics/
-- When the going gets tough, the tough use the command line.

Synth-diy mailing list
Synth-diy at dropmix.xs4all.nl

More information about the Synth-diy mailing list