MOSCOW, February 19 – RIA Novosti. Russian scientists have developed a system for monitoring the state of the brain, in particular the level of concentration and fatigue of airplane pilots and drivers; in the next two years, it is planned to present the first prototypes of simulators based on this system, the press service of the platform of the National Technology Initiative (NTI) reported.
The development belongs to the team of the laboratory of neuroscience and cognitive technologies of the Innopolis University (Tatarstan), which is headed by Professor Alexander Khramov. It is based on a new approach to the analysis of neurophysiological data, proposed by Vladimir Maksimenko, senior researcher at the Laboratory of Neuroscience and Cognitive Technologies of the NTI Competence Center in the direction of “Technologies of Robotics and Mechatronics Components”. In early February, he won the 2020 Russian President's Science and Innovation Award for Young Scientists “for the development of invasive and non-invasive brain-computer interfaces to control normal and pathological brain activity.”
The Integrative Brain system consists of a helmet with electrodes for the head and an external interface. It allows you to determine the level of concentration of attention in airplane pilots, ground transport drivers, as well as in children with developmental disabilities, for example, cerebral palsy, by the electrical activity of the brain.
“According to the indicators of the electrical activity of neurons in the brain, using our approach, we have learned to assess the state of a person, the level of his concentration, fatigue. With the help of the system, we can inform a person that he is tired, he should take a break,” said Maksimenko, whose words are given in message.
Based on this discovery, scientists are planning to create concentration simulators for pilots and drivers, he added.
“Moreover, in the case of pilots with the help of it, the dispatcher will be able to find out who of the two pilots is currently more tired and redistribute the load between them,” Maksimenko said.
The first prototypes of these simulators are planned to be presented within two years, Maksimenko said. “A number of companies in the aviation industry have already shown interest in the development, so after the presentation of the prototype, we intend to launch the process of introducing a flight simulator,” he added.
According to Maksimenko, another important area of his scientific interests is the system for studying the neural activity of the brain, in particular, the prediction and prevention of epileptic seizures.
“In real time, specific activity of neurons is detected, and during this time pathological activity of the brain is blocked by electrical stimulation. Thus, the system prevents an attack from occurring,” the young scientist explained.
“We analyzed invasive brain signals that were recorded in laboratory rats during epileptic seizures, and found that the seizure occurs spontaneously, but it is preceded by a phase of certain activity of neurons in the brain. This discovery has provided complete information about how a certain area of the brain functions. This formed the basis for the creation of a brain-computer interface, which allows predicting and preventing the occurrence of a seizure, “Maksimenko said.
The results of the latest research by Innopolis specialists have shown that epileptic seizures in humans develop similarly, noted Alexander Khramov.
“This gives us the opportunity to develop interfaces for humans. However, unlike the rat, these interfaces will not block the activity of neurons in the human brain, but will warn that an attack will begin in the near future and he should prepare,” he said.
Now Innopolis scientists are conducting research work together with a number of leading medical research centers.
“I will not reveal all the secrets, an extended scientific article will soon be published in a prestigious American publication, which describes our results of research on epilepsy in humans. We plan to present an industrial prototype of the system and, perhaps, even begin to implement it in medical institutions in the next two years, but the exact timing depends on the situation with the pandemic, “Khramov added.