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AUGUST 2021 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 41 A new wearable brain-machine interface (BMI) system could improve the quality of life for peo- ple with motor dysfunction or paralysis, even those struggling with locked-in syndrome—when a per- son is fully conscious but unable to move or com- municate. A multi-institutional, international team of re- searchers led by the lab of Woon-Hong Yeo at the Georgia Institute of Technology combined wireless soft scalp electronics and virtual reality in a BMI sys- tem that allows the user to imagine an action and wirelessly control a wheelchair or robotic arm. BMI systems are a rehabilitation technology that analyzes a person's brain signals and translates that neural activity into commands, turning intentions into actions. The most common non-in- vasive method for acquiring those sig- nals is ElectroEncephaloGraphy, EEG, which typically requires a cumbersome electrode skull cap and a tangled web of wires. These devices generally rely heav- ily on gels and pastes to help maintain skin contact, require extensive set-up times, are generally inconvenient and uncomfortable to use. The devices also often suffer from poor signal acquisi- tion due to material degradation or mo- tion artifacts—the ancillary "noise" which may be caused by something like teeth grinding or eye blinking. This noise shows up in brain-data and must be filtered out. The portable EEG system Yeo designed, integrat- ing imperceptible microneedle electrodes with soft wireless circuits, offers improved signal acquisition. Accurately measuring those brain signals is critical to determining what actions a user wants to per- form, so the team integrated a powerful machine learning algorithm and virtual reality component to address that challenge. The new system was tested with four human sub- jects, but hasn't been studied with disabled individ- uals yet. (Source: Georgia Tech) Wearable Brain-Machine Interface Turns Intentions Into Actions Authenticity is a trait people look for in a leader. Do you ask questions about oth- ers' lives? Do you understand what motivates them? What is important to them? A leader fails if he or she does not know their followers. If you answered "no" to any of these questions, you might want to actively work on improving your connection skills in the following ways: • Connect with yourself • Be open and sincere • Live your message • Know your people • Communicate on their level • Commit to helping others • Believe in others • Offer direction and hope Developing relationships with the real lead- ers in an organization and honing your ability to form meaningful connections with others will become vital tools in your leadership tool- box. Develop and use these tools early in your relationships with others and you will quickly see the benefits. PCB007 Steve Williams is president of The Right Approach Consulting. He is also an independent certified coach, trainer, and speaker with the John Maxwell team. To read past columns or contact Williams, click here.

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