Brain control is here and evolving fast

Using your brain to control objects is gaining momentum. A few weeks back I saw a brain controlled skateboard and today an AR drone that can fly around and take pictures controlled by the mind using an EEG ‘helmet’. Last year DARPA and Johns Hopkins University announced the advanced testing of a brain controlled robotic arm using a chip inside your brain. This arm could be sold in the next three to four years and there are five people at this moment walking around with this arm and a chip inside their brain controlling that arm.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JH96O5niEnI&w=560&h=315]

Uploading Your Dreams

Today, investigating the Singularity, I came across this video. Neuroscientists from UC Berkeley, Shinji Nishimoto and professor Jack Gallant, succeeded at reconstructing what people see based on fMRI and computational modeling. The images were blur in 2011 but how will this evolve? Will it be possible to upload your dreams and use technology as a way to store your experiences? Can technology predict what information gets stored in the brain and what grabs our attention based on what we actually store?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsjDnYxJ0bo]

Get Smarter: Move Around!

Proof that exercise and overal physical fitness will make you smarter and more productive is getting bigger and more convincing. The other day I was triggered by a post that states that even a short walk can boost executive control (this is what we would call ratio and conscious decision making). Dr Burr claims that movement is good for your brain and sitting around can have bad health consequences. For this last point there is more evidence to be found, for instance at WebMD. The first point is confirmed by studies like these at Harvard and NIH. A while back I came across an article that states that in school when 8 year olds ride a bike for 20 minutes directly before doing a reading test they will score like 9 years olds (on average). And there is a lot more evidence out there on the short term and on the long run. The last meaning that healthy and fit kids have better ‘executive control’. The more innovative meeting places in The Netherlands are experimenting with meeting rooms without seating or with very uncomfortable seating. The concept of a Walk and Talk has gained modest attention but at our office the best conversations are made walking in the park next to the office. Walk and Talk was introduced in 1996 when the surgeon general in the US advocated a minimum of 30 minutes activity every day.

I walk around a lot during  meetings to get my bloodflow running and be more productive. During meetings where the social pressure is to high to standup my energy levels are genuinely lower and I feel the energy flowing away. During the working day I want to walk around as much as possible. Remaining seated for more than an hour feels wrong and it is!

What do you do to stay in shape and have better executive control?