What are brain-computer interfaces and how can I use one?

Brain-computer interface technology has been around for years. In fact, headsets designed for the average household have been on the market for over a decade. The way they work is by having electrodes detect the electrical signals that neurons send to each other when they communicate. These signals involve everything from interpreting the senses, regulating the body, and muscle control. Just like how a computer performs its various commands with a specific code in a specific place, the brain has specific codes in specific places, which all mean different things as well. 

The biggest issue with detecting these codes, however, is that the human brain has about 100 billion neurons, and many of them are sending signals to each other at the same time. Therefore, being able to listen to a specific signal while ignoring the noise from all the others becomes extremely difficult. Furthermore, the farther the electrodes are from the neurons they are trying to record, the weaker and more distorted the signal is. This is complicated further when considering that the neural signals must pass through the skull and skin in order to reach the electrodes. 

Fortunately, there are ways to get around this problem, which include implementing more advanced electrodes and better signal filtering algorithms. Today, our ability to detect brain activity has advanced so well, there are cheap headsets sold in toy stores which allow children to play Star Wars games and cognitively wield the power of the “Force” to move objects connected to the device. In fact, there are plenty of commercially available headsets that interact directly with the brain. One of those is the CURVEx headset which is a lightweight and simple solution capable of measuring various cognitive states to help its users optimize their performance and moods.

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