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Brain Computer Interface using Advanced Computing

S. Aravindh, S. Karthikeyan


Many physiological disorders such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or injuries such as high-level spinal cord injury can disrupt the communication path between the brain and the body. People with severe motor disabilities may lose all voluntary muscle control, including eye movements. These people are forced to accept a reduced quality of life, resulting in dependence on caretakers and escalating social costs. Most of the existing assistive technology devices for these patients are not possible because these devices are dependent on motor activities specific parts of the body. Alternative control paradigms for these individuals are thus desirable. Brain-computer interface (BCI) has emerged as a new frontier in assistive technology (AT) since it could provide an alternative communication channel between a user‟s brain and the outside world. Other terms that are also used in the literature for referring to a BCI system include: brain interface (BI), direct brain interface (DBI), and brain machine interface (BMI). A BCI system allows individuals with motor disabilities to control objects in their environments (such as a light switch in their room or television, wheelchairs, neural prosthesis and computers) using their brain signals only. This could be accomplished by measuring specific features of the user‟s brain activity that relate to his/her intent to perform the control. This specific type of brain activity is termed a “neurological phenomenon”. BCI, is a communication system in which the brain does not use nerves to give orders to your body or to the world outside. "A BCI provides its user with an alternative method for acting on the world". Brain-computer interface (BCI) is a direct connection between computer(s) and the human brain. Currently research is being conducted the fields of neuroscience and neuroengineering regarding BCI and BMI. Using chips implanted against the brain that have hundreds of pins less than the width of a human hair protruding from them and penetrating the cerebral cortex, scientists are able to read the firings of hundreds of neurons in the brain. Research on BCIs began in the 1970s, but it wasn't until the mid-1990s that the first working experimental implants in humans appeared. Following years of animal experimentation, early working implants in humans now exist, designed to restore damaged hearing, sight and movement. Man-Machine interface has been one of the growing fields of research and development in recent years. Most of the effort has been dedicated to the design of user-friendly or ergonomic systems by means of innovative interfaces such as voice recognition, virtual reality. A direct brain-computer interface would add a new dimension to man-machine interaction. Interesting research work in this direction has been already initiated, motivated by the hope to create new communication channels for those with severe motor disabilities.


Brain-Computer Interface (BCI), EEG, Magnetic Resonance Image (MRI)

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