Brain.Space, an Israeli startup that has spent four years studying and analyzing data on brain activity, will test next week, a special case enabled for an electroencephalogram. The test will be carried out with astronauts during a shuttle flight SpaceX to the International Space Station (ISS).
It is a 10-day mission, which will depart on April 3 with four astronauts on board. “We know that the microgravity environment affects the physiological indicators of the body. So it’s probably going to impact the brain and we’d like to monitor that,” Brain.Space CEO Yair Levy told Reuters. Reuters.
Data on heart rate, skin resistance, muscle mass and others in space have been collected, but not yet on brain activity, according to the manager.
This is one of the 30 experiments that are part of the so-called Rakia Mission to the ISS. Other projects that are part of the initiative include super-fast charging batteries, neurofeedback, flexible solar panels, duckweed cultivation systems, and eye-tracking technology to combat microgravity-induced disease.
All of this research is being done on the International Space Station as part of the Ramon Foundation and the Israel Ministry of Science and Technology’s Rakia Mission.
In the case of the aforementioned startup, three of the four astronauts, including Israeli Eytan Stibbe, will wear the helmet, which has 460 airbrushes. that connect to the scalp, and will perform a series of tasks for 20 minutes a day. During that time, the data will be uploaded to a laptop on the space station.
Similar studies using these tasks have been completed on Earth and, after the mission, the company will compare EEG data to see differences in brain activity between Earth and space.
It was stressed that such experiments are necessary as long-term space exploration and “off-world life are at hand.”
Brain.Space, which also said it raised $8.5 million in a seed funding round, describes itself as a brain infrastructure company and is working with the department of brain and cognitive sciences at Ben Gurion University in Israel to transform terabytes of data into usable information.
Levy said he hoped the space mission would be a springboard for other institutions, researchers and software developers to use his brain data platform.
“Space is an accelerator. The idea is to revolutionize and make possible brain activity applications, products and services that are as easy as extracting data from an Apple Watch”, Levy stressed.
There are several technological solutions that are based on analyzing the behavior of brain activity to optimize different tasks and even for the assistance of people with difficulties. This is the case of BrainGate, a device that a few months ago was implanted in the brain of a 64-year-old man paralyzed since 2007, and managed to translate his thoughts into text with 94% accuracy.
The technology consists of a neural implant that seeks to transform the way in which people with disabilities can communicate after having lost movement or speech abilities.
The gadget uses a “brain-computer interface (BCI) that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to interpret neural activity signals generated during handwriting,” as described by Francis Willett, Donald Avansino, Leigh Hochberg, Jaimie Henderson and Krishna Shenoy, who are some of the researchers involved in the study, and who published partial results in May 2021 in the journal Naturein the article entitled “High-performance brain-to-text communication via handwriting”.
(With information from Reuters)
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