In recent years, there has been a lot of attention on improving the computer side of the brain-computer interface but very little attention to the brain side.

"This study shows that looking closer at the brain side may provide a valuable tool for reducing obstacles for brain-computer interface success in early stages," explained Bin He, a biomedical engineering professor from University of Minnesota's college of science and engineering.

The research could have major implications for treatments of people who are paralyzed or have neuro-degenerative diseases.

In the study, researchers looked at 36 participants. One group of 12 had at least one year of experience in yoga or meditation at least two times per week for one hour.

The second group included 24 healthy participants who had little or no yoga or meditation experience.

Both groups participated in three, two-hour experiments over four weeks in which they wore a high tech, non-invasive cap over the scalp that picked up brain activity.

The participants were asked to move a computer cursor across the screen by imaging left or right hand movements.

"The participants with yoga or meditation experience were twice as likely to complete the brain-computer interface task by the end of 30 trials and learned three times faster than their counterparts for the left-right cursor movement experiments," professor He informed.

The research appeared in the journal Technology.


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