The moment of truth has come. Four years ago, I competed in the BCI contest, and did fairly well for an undergrad student hobbyist. Those who’ve known me more than three years would know my obsession with brain computer interfaces (heck, they showed it in the code4bill video too.)
With work pressures mounting, I didn’t get a lot of time to pursue this. Looks like my Ph.D. plans are put on hold for lack of a problem I find appealing. In the meantime, my backyard science has been severely limited to aging books and (vain) attempts at distilling perfume out of flowers.
The time has come to be more ambitious. I asked a week ago how one finds those “cool professions” they show in movies, and I found the answer – they create them. You know all those geeks on Mythbusters or Junkyard Wars? They just do it. It’s not impossible. It’s not difficult. It’s just a matter of waking up one Saturday morning and asking yourself, “Do you feel lucky?”
I’m resurrecting the BCI fanaticism and am looking for hobbyists to join in. We could set up our base of operations in Hyderabad or Pune, I don’t mind. There are already a couple of friends signed up on this. It’s going to take time, and it’s going to involve sleepless nights, but it’s going to have you wake up one day and feel like James T Kirk – to have boldly gone where not many have gone before! I spent years begging for access to EEG equipment from hospitals and asking colleges/universities for funding. Turns out, in India, actually spending money on academics isn’t the cool thing. Lately though, I realised I make enough money just so I can fuel such crazy initiatives. I’m the type who doesn’t really care about “investments” and buying houses, and I have no hopes of meeting a girl in the near future, so I can pretty much afford to buy one of the over-the-counter biofeedback devices. And here we go….
Here’s the plan (of course this will take upto an year to execute):
1. If you want to fund part of it, I’m certainly not philanthropic, so I wouldn’t mind some monetary contribution towards purchasing such a device.
2. We’ll spend a few months working from the group up, reading on published literature.
3. We’ll replicate some results on pre-recorded data.
4. We’ll try and get access to an EEG device at a hospital. This would be best since buying one doesn’t really serve much of a purpose once we’re done.
5. If all else fails, and we think we have a decent enough processing enging, we’ll go and buy the damn device and do it!
6. We’ll try and replicate the Wolpaw-McFarland experiment from 1992 to control the mouse curser based on the beta band through motor imagery.
Don’t have time to write much. These are just raw ambitious thoughts. This may not work out, but I had to get this out of my system. If anyone’s interested, feel free to ping me, and we can see what comes out of this.