2001- 2002

I started using the cyber link during the summer 2001. When people asked me where I had been for my holidays, I got strange looks when I said cyberspace!

I have been working with Dr. P Coia and Patricia Hall at Fieldhead Hospital. We have been researching a brainwave device called the cyberlink. We are the first in the UK to research the cyberlink. The Cyberlink device is an interface to communicate between humans and machines. The Cyberlink Interface enables hands-free control of computers and electrical devices. Pretty good if you haven’t got any controls over your hands. The Cyberlink system is easy and fun to use especially games and can be learned fairly quickly depending on the particular person. It has three sensors on a headband and an interface box. The three Sensors in the headband detect your brain and facial activity (i.e. Jaw and eyebrows etc..). The Cyberlink interface unit amplifies and translates this data into separate frequencies and transmits them to the computer. The Cyberlink software processes and displays these frequencies as 10 continuous command signals called Brain fingers and up to 4 discrete command signals generated by specific eye and facial gestures.

Strap on the headband, plug into your computer and let your mind do the rest. The brain and body signals detected by the sensors in the headband are amplified, digitised and transmitted to the computer as multiple Brain fingers to affect feedback displays, control a mouse or an interactive video game, navigate a productivity or business application, use a web browser, control almost any Windows application, play musical synthesizers or sound cards, activate peripheral devices, adjust environmental controls, etc.

Cyberlink Interface is based on a breakthrough technology that senses and responds to the minute surface electrical signals that result from brain and subtle muscle activity. Twelve different biological signals derived from the forehead control the location and left/right functions of the mouse. Individual control formats and adjustments are easily made through the user-friendly graphical interface.

In the first week I worked on the eyebrow settings on the pong (bat & ball) game for up and down movements.

After the 5th day on the cyber link I decided to used a brain wave on the pong for the left & right movements. After many hours of experimenting on each brain wave, I found the F6 mode to be the best for controlling the left and right movements of the bat. The F6 is an alpha wave. I discovered that if I think of something exciting the bat will move to the right and relaxing or being sad will make the bat go to the left. After many hours of practicing it does become easier to control and now I sometimes find this is easier than the eyebrow click. But it does depend on how I’m feeling. At first the F6 control was very tiring, but now not so much.

I have been practicing on a Labyrinth game. I have been using the F6 brainwave mode to control the left & right movements and the eyebrow click to move up and down. The easy-labyrinth is very straightforward to accomplish. The harder level of labyrinth I can achieve but it takes a lot of concentration.

My fastest time on -:

Easy labyrinth is 14 seconds

Hard labyrinth is 64 seconds

The cyberlink also has a typing program. I use the eyebrow click to select letters. During the first week it took me over 5 minutes to type Patricia. My fastest time is 35 seconds and the average is 88 seconds. My typing ability is variable. It depends on how I am feeling.

For me to type Patricia on my light-talker it takes 20 seconds, but using my head pointer on a normal keyboard is still the fastest method. That takes 9 seconds.

The Brain Billiards is a good program for learning how to control your brainwaves and relaxing.

The blue balls are controlled by the low frequency brain waves in order to move the balls up and down.

The red balls respond to the the high frequency brain waves. To move them, I have to try to create a feeling of mental intensity. The red balls will also repond to subtle forehead muscle contractions.

The green Balls are responsive to the mid-frequencies. The up and down movements are controlled by defocusing my gaze or not attending to the task in a concentrated way.

Basically this game is all about relaxing your mind to let the balls go down, and to get the balls to up you have to concentrate.

The asteroids game is basically good way of practicing with the mouse. I use the eyebrow click to fire the laser weapon to break-up oncoming asteroids. The right and left control responds to the F6 brain wave. On level two, the up and down control is added to provide a 4 way motion of the weapon crosshairs. I move the crosshairs up and down by subtle forehead muscle contractions.

Side effects

I had a few side effects when I went on the cyber link longer than an hour.

After an hour I would get really tired. After 2 hours, I felt tired tired and got head aches. Once I got carried away and spent 3 hours on it. This made me feel dizzy, like my head was spinning.

I think I suffered from these side effects as I was trying too hard. Consequently my brain was overloading as it wasn’t used to so much activity from the subtle facial muscle and eye movements in addition to altering my brainwaves in this kind of tense, concentrated way.

After 3 weeks on the cyber link, I decided to limit myself to 45 minutes to an hour each day. I haven’t been getting any more head aches but I have felt a little bit tired sometimes, especially when using the F6 brain wave mode.


I have noticed if I type first before playing pong, I make a lot of errors and I am very slow at typing ‘Patricia’ However, after playing pong I am much more better at typing.

After playing the asteroids and Tetris for many hours, I thought I would practice with the mouse. After endless hours of practicing and adjusting the settings I have a little bit control over it. Meaning, when I went right or up, the mouse goes diagonally to the right hand corner, and the same with the left or down movements to the left hand corner. I found this very frustrating to achieve up, down, left and right separately. As I spent hours on this I wasn’t seeing any really improvements. As I really wanted to use the mouse with it. I think I will require a lot of practice to achieve this task.


My thoughts of cyber link – As soon as I went on it I knew the cyber link was something special. All my life I’ve been using switches basically there have been the same, ok maybe a little changes to them over the years. The cyber link is different from an ordinary switch, as ordinary switches takes about 30 minutes to set-up in the right position so the particular user can press the switch by their hands, feet, head etc… The cyber link takes weeks or months to calibrate the settings properly depending on the user, I was using it for 8 weeks, and I even didn’t calibrated the settings fully on myself. In the first week I was working on the eyebrows settings on the pong game for up & down movements. It was really strange using my eyebrows as I never used my eyebrows before in this way. When I obtained improvements with the eyebrows consequently the eyebrows settings needed to be adjusting again. I have noticed it is sometimes really hard to move the bat down on the pong game this is when my forehead muscles are really tense. To overcome this I will have to take a rest for a minute. This usually occurs when I have been on it over 45mins. A lot of users get Repetitive Strain Injuries on ordinary switches; however, I don’t think they will get it on the cyberlink as the user is only moving their eyebrows. The cyber link is definitely a break through as it is the next generation of switches. I think cyberlink will be very useful for people with Cerebral Palsy, like myself, however, I also think this will be a powerful tool for users who have bone diseases like latest stages of muscular dystrophy to improve their quality of life. There is some work from the states on a small number of people with various types of head trauma (e.g. someone who was diagnosed as in a persistent vegetive state - who managed to type hello! Before cyberlink they thought the person couldn’t communicate with anyone.