MAURO FERMARIELLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MAURO FERMARIELLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mental monitoring during anaesthesia. Laptop computer showing the mental state of an anaesthet- ised patient during an operation. A MindDrive sensor on one of the patient's fingers measures electrical nerve impulses (top graph on computer) using a skin sensor, along with heartbeat (bottom graph), temperature and blood pulse volume. The system can distinguish conscious mental activity from automatic brain processes, displaying the patient's overall mental state and allowing their health to be assessed more fully during surgery. As well as showing the mental states of people who cannot describe them themselves, this system allows computers to be used using the mind alone.
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