Thursday, October 12, 2006

The State of Brain Body Interface Devices

Progress with Brain Body interfaces ...

"Debunking the myth that 'thought control of computers' is new, Paul Gnanayutham takes a look at what is happening in the search for the ultimate assistive technology. Gnanayutham, at the University of Portsmouth, has been working with Gilbert Cockton and Chris Bloor of the University of Sunderland on brain-body interfaces over a number of years.

Research has been carried out on the brain’s electrical activities since 1925. Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs), also called brain-body interfaces or brain-machine interfaces provide new augmentative communications channels for those with severe motor impairments. In 1995 there were no more than six active brain computer interface research groups, in 2000 there were more than twenty and now more than thirty laboratories are actively researching in brain computer interfaces. Brain-computer interface is a communication system that does not depend on the brain’s normal output pathways such as speech or gestures but by using electrophysiological signals from the brain. There are two types of brain body interfaces namely invasive (signals obtained by surgically inserting probes inside the brain) and non-invasive (electrodes placed externally on part of the body).

Non-Invasive Brain-Body Interface Devices
Brain activity produces electrical signals that can be read by electrodes placed on the skull, forehead or other part of the body (the skull and forehead are predominantly used because of the richness of bio-potentials in these areas). Algorithms then translate these bio-potentials into instructions to direct the computer, so people with brain injury have a channel to communicate without using the normal channels. Various research groups have developed Brain-Computer Interfaces using, Electrocochleography, Electroencephalalography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Slow Cortical Potentials."    (Continued via Usability News)    [Usability Resources]

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