A new computer program has taken Flight Simulator to a whole new level. Researchers have designed a cap of electrodes that can read activity from the region of the brain that controls physical motion and translate it into directional signals for a virtual helicopter. This allowed three players wearing the cap to fly a chopper through a series of rings using only their minds, moving it up and down as well as forward and backward, the team reports online this week in PLoS ONE. With practice, the players were able to direct the copter through the rings accurately 85% of the time. If players can control a helicopter in three dimensions, the researchers hope, a similar system could improve the ability of disabled people to control prosthetic limbs.
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