This health video looks at how you state of mind can help your recovery.
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Jennifer Mathews: He's winning this round of pong, but what's really amazing is how Aaron Danforth is playing the game. Aaron Danforth: I have to think of the word 'move' to get it to move to the right, yeah. Jennifer Mathews: That's right. No hands. Aaron's brain controls the cursor. The computer can detect what he's thinking by the intensity and pattern of his brain activity. Kai Miller: It's a junction of computer science and medicine and sort-of human interaction. Dr. Jeffrey Ojemann: It's remarkable to watch, almost as if there's a degree of mind control or something that you only see in science fiction movies. Jennifer Mathews: Doctor Jeffrey Ojemann says this technology could lead to new devices for amputees and people who are paralyzed. Dr. Jeffrey Ojemann: If somebody has lost control of their arms and legs and can't move them, they might still be able to imagine moving them, and if they still have that same electrical signal, we can turn that into a control of a computer or ultimately a robotic device. Jennifer Mathews: To study the technology, scientists rely on patients with severe epilepsy who are under close watch, like Aaron. He has electrodes implanted on the surface of his brain, so doctors can monitor his seizures. It's the same wiring scientists need for this study. Aaron Danforth: It's definitely interesting. I mean we are seeing them being able to move just by me thinking of words. Jennifer Mathews: As scientists study how the brain works during thought processing, they hope this video game is just the beginning of the power of mind over matter. This is Jennifer Mathews reporting.