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Obama’s Israel Trip to Include Focus on Brain Tech

Obama’s Israel Trip to Include Focus on Brain Tech

March 15, 2013

Medical Research, Press Releases, Robotics & High-Tech

NEW YORK, March 15, 2013 — Two brain-focused technologies developed by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) will be presented to President Barack Obama during his Israel trip as part of a research and technology showcase on March 21.

The projects, which will be presented at an event at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, were among those specifically selected by a special committee in Israel’s prime minister’s office.

The first project, MinDesktop, developed by BGU students under the supervision of Prof. Rami Puzis of the Department of Information Systems Engineering, is a thought-controlled, hands-free computer for the disabled that could enable people to operate a computer without using a keyboard or mouse – only their brainwaves.

The BGU technology features a helmet equipped with 14 EEG connect points that sense brain activity.

The second innovation is brain activation technology by ElMindA, a start-up company founded by Prof. Amir Geva of BGU’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The BNA™ platform enables high resolution visualization and evaluation of the complex neuro-physiological interconnections of the human brain at work, capturing information on the composition, connectivity, synchronization, and operation of brain networks.

BNA™ measures brain state and brain changes and can potentially be applied to analyze a wide spectrum of neurological, psychiatric and physical conditions, including concussions, sports injuries, and central nervous system-related diseases, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

In addition, the technology serves as a valuable tool in the development of treatments for these diseases, in rehabilitation from sports injuries, and in evaluating when physical activity can be resumed. BNA™ is currently being used with leading partners in the United States.

“In the president’s recent State of the Union address, he discussed a decade-long scientific research endeavor on the human brain,” explains Doron Krakow, executive vice president, American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

“BGU is a rising international star in the field of brain research and we are honored to have been asked to highlight examples of our best research and to be part of President Obama’s upcoming visit to Israel.”

In another recent example of BGU’s stature in brain research capabilities, former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who has been in a coma since 2006, was brought to the University’s Brain Imaging Lab at Soroka University Medical Center for MRI tests. The BGU team consisted of Prof. Alon Friedman, and Drs. Galia Avidan and Tzvi Ganel of BGU’s Zlotowski Center for Neuroscience.

About American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion’s vision: creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University’s expertise locally and around the globe. As Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) celebrates its 50th birthday this year, AABGU imagines a future that goes beyond the walls of academia. It is a future where BGU invents a new world and inspires a vision for a stronger Israel and its next generation of leaders. Together with supporters, AABGU will help the University foster excellence in teaching, research and outreach to the communities of the Negev for the next 50 years and beyond.

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