Paralyzed Woman Translates Her Thoughts Into Abstract Paintings

Paralyzed Woman Translates Her Thoughts Into Abstract Paintings

Heide Pfutzner teamed up with scientists to pursue her creative desires.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 12 july 2013

Heide Pfutzner, a former teacher from Germany, was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2007 and became paralyzed. She can only communicate through eye contact and a computer box. Through the Brain-Computer Interface or BCI program at the University of Wurzburg, she has been able to create abstract paintings using her mind.


BCIs basically take brain waves and translate them into commands. The BCI program at the university developed a brain-painting program that allows Pfutzner to use her thoughts to select which shapes, colors and brushes to use in creating digital paintings.

Pfutzner’s family and supporters have created a StartNext project to raise funds for an exhibition of her artwork in Scotland.

Researchers have been looking into the uses of BCI especially in rehabilitation and improving the lives of disabled persons.


Heide Pfutzner // University of Wurzburg


Fitness Advocate: Paving The Future of Workouts With Audio

Fitness & Sport
Work Today

Community Builder: How to Hack Slack

Claire Wasserman, Founder of Ladies Get Paid, describes how she's using an internal team communication tool to build a network of thousands

Food Today

This Beer Was Brewed Just For Scotch Drinkers

Highland Park Scotch Whisky & Sixpoint Brewery have teamed up to create two limited-edition pairings for New York City boilermakers


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Mobile Today

Let An AI Librarian Help Sort Your Digital Bookmarks

A new app uses machine learning to help organize your virtual life

Mobile Today

Pizza Hut Tattoo Lets You Place An Order From Your Body

The latest gimmick from the fast-food chain is a tattoo-like sticker that lets customers get delivery with a simple tap on their arm

Related Expert

Deirdre Stone

Creative Technologist

Travel Today

Reinvented Bicycle Inspired By Supercar Design

The yellow bike based on a Lamborghini has sharp edges and an aluminum alloy frame

Health Today

Health Platform Gives Perspective On Your Weekly Habits

Gyroscope is a new wellness app that works by amalgamating data about your life into beautifully designed visuals

Beauty Today

Korean Beauty Brand Uses VR To Let Customers Pick Their Ingredients

Innisfree created a unique experience for its Shanghai Disneyland customers with a virtual reality trip to select what goes into their purchase


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 21, 2016

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

PSFK Labs october 21, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Arts & Culture Today

3D-Printed Creations Resemble Floating Paper Outlines

Japanese design firm Nendo's exhibition features works that look like sheets of material being folded, torn, and crumpled

Technology october 21, 2016

Concept Camera Designed To Only Take Unique Photos

Camera Restricta is tool that prompts photographers to only capture one-of-a-kind images

Design & Architecture october 21, 2016

Dubai And The Future Of Humanitarian Design

In its second year, Global Grad Show brings together 145 cracks at a more sustainable, connected and empowered way of living

Technology october 21, 2016

Fragrance Will Release The Smell Of Data If Your Private Information Is Being Leaked

The device is designed to create a physical cue for the potential dangers lurking online

Retail october 21, 2016

LYNK & CO Is A New Auto Brand That Promises Mobile Connectivity On Wheels

Online access and mobility sharing are driving the company to disrupt the auto industry

Gaming & Play october 21, 2016

Nintendo’s New Console Pushes For Portable Gaming

The Switch allows gamers to seamlessly play on the go by themselves or with friends

Travel october 21, 2016

Become A Citizen Of The First Nation In Space

Asgardia is a new concept for a floating society above Earth

Entertainment october 21, 2016

Speaker Displays Song Lyrics As Music Is Played

The device is able to generate the graphics on a translucent screen and retrieve the words from a connected database

No search results found.