A NEWCASTLE-BORN scientist has been involved in a project in which an electric light was switched on using a human brain.

Using the latest scientific technology, known as the Mind Switch, Professor Les Kirkup, 44, and a team of scientists in Australia, linked up a set of wires which record alpha, beta, and theta waves in the brain.

The alpha waves, known as the "good waves" are what triggers the switch.

When a person closes his or her eyes the alpha rays increase, and the abundance of rays provides enough energy to switch on the light.

Professor Ashley Craig, 46, from the University of Technology, in Sydney, has been working on the project with colleagues, including Prof Kirkup, since 1996.

He said: "There are huge possibilities for disabled people, people suffering from polio, quadriplegia and those who are elderly and wheelchair bound."

Prof Craig continued: "With training, this will be a very powerful form of control. It also has potential for children because they have more alpha waves than adults."

Alpha waves occur when a person is relaxed. Beta waves are very high frequency and are used when a person concentrates on mathematics or is anxious. Theta waves are very low frequency and normally related to tiredness.

The Australian team was invited to Britain this week by London's Science Museum as part of Brain Awareness Week