Science, Art, Litt, Science based Art & Science Communication
A Computer that enables users to paint through the power of thought has been developed by scientists, media reports revealed.
To the viewer it is an accomplished semi-abstract image of flowers and clouds, but in fact this painting was produced by a paralysed woman solely through the power of thought.
Heide Pfutzner, a former teacher from Leipzig, Germany, was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Motor Neuron Disease, yet she has managed to produce a series of the paintings with the aid of a new brain-controlled computer.
She has been trained to master the device that uses brain waves to take control of a palette of colours, shapes and brushes to produce digital artworks.
Building on decades of knowledge about the meaning of the tiny electrical impulses created by the brain during thought, scientists have been able to create a computer programme which translates thoughts into electronic images. As well as helping patients with progressive brain diseases like Mrs. Pfutzner, other users of the device include those who are "locked in" to a physically unresponsive state and therefore unable to communicate with the rest of the world. The system detects changes in the pattern of user's brain waves to allow them to select options in software and to move a cursor around a screen in front of them.
When The Telegraph tested the device in an attempt to replicate Vincent Van Gogh's famous still life of a vase of sunflowers, it took several hours to produce a simple drawing of a bunch of flowers in a pot.
However, researchers are now working on a new device that can be implanted into the brian to allow computers to directly translate a person's thoughts.
"At the moment the interface works like simple paint software where you have to select options using your thoughts", said Dr. Christoph Guger, who has led the team developing the system at technology company gTech near Linz, Austria.