Neurosky and Emotiv Systems Inc. are two companies focused on creating games using brain wave activities. The companies hope that their development will:

  • Boost mental abilities for users
  • Enable paralyzed patients to move in a virtual world
  • Boost mental focus of ADD patients

The core of both game technology is electroencephalography (EEG)

Neurosky uses a headset with one electrode sensor. A preview of theneurosky.jpg game may be found in the video section on the left hand side of this page or here.

Emotiv Systems Inc., on the other hand, has developed a gel-free headset with 18 sensors that have the ability to monitor basic changes in mood, focus and detects brain waves correlating with blinks, laughter and as well as smiles. It is a development that may be applied in a game setting to help psychiatric patients deal with anger management

Brain activity associated with computers isn’t a new concept. Schools such as the University of California and Purdue have labs that focus upon correlating brain waves to moving cursors on the computer screen, which may useful for disabled individuals. However, the development of games via the use of brain waves is still in its infancy stage and has yet to penetrate the dura mater of the healthcare sector.

Neurosky and Emotiv Systems developments are potential alternative treatments for children and adults with attention deficit disorder/with and without hyperactivity (ADD/ADHD) or even Alzheimer’s patients . While there needs to be controlled studies on the effects of these types of games relating to psychiatric disorders or age-associated memory impairment, it is exciting to think of the possibilities and alternatives to patient care beyond pharmaceuticals.