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Department of ECE. Brain Computer Interface. Submitted By: Saurabh Gupta RD6801B44. Brain-Computer Interfaces Past, Present and Future. What is a BCI?.

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Department of ECE

Brain Computer Interface

Submitted By:

Saurabh Gupta


what is a bci
What is a BCI?
  • BCIs read electrical signals or other manifestations of brain activity and translate them into a digital form that computers can understand, process, and convert into actions of some kind, such as moving a cursor or turning on a TV.
  • BCI can help people with inabilities to control computers, wheelchairs, televisions, or other

devices with brain activity.

the 3 major components of bcis
The 3 major components of BCIs
  • Ways of measuring neural signals from the human brain
  • Methods and algorithms for decoding brain states/intentions from these signals and
  • Methodology and algorithms for mapping the decoded brain activity to intended behavior or action.
history discovering the basics
History – Discovering the Basics
  • 1924: Hans Berger discovers the EEG
  • Analyses the interrelation of EEG and brain diseases
  • 1970: First developments to use brain waves as input
  • ARPA has vision of enhanced human
  • First step in the right direction

Historical overview

history monkey first
History - Monkey first …
  • 1990: First successful experiments with monkeys
  • Implanting electrode arrays into monkey brains
  • Recording of monkeys‘ brain waves
  • Offline reproducing of movements
  • 2000: Monkeys control robots by thoughts

Historical overview

history humans follow
History - … Humans follow
  • More non-invasive than invasive approaches
  • Brain reading by eg. EEG, MEG or fMRI
  • 2004: First human benefits from research
  • Matt Nagle is able to control a computer and move a prosthetic hand

Historical overview

reading the brain
Reading the brain…



Direct Neural Contact

  • Most accurate method
  • Highly invasive
  • Not possible with current technologies
  • Perhaps possible in future with e.g. nanobots
  • Measures electical activity in brain
  • Non-invasive
  • Susceptible to noise
  • Easy to use + low cost + portable
  • Most commonly used device in BCIs

Reading the brain

invasive versus non invasive bci
Invasive versus Non-invasive BCI
  • Invasive techniques, which implant electrodes directly onto a patient’s brain;
  • Noninvasive techniques, in which medical

scanning devices or sensors mounted on caps or headbands read brain signals.

reading the brain1
…Reading the brain

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging




  • Measures magnetic fields produced by electrical activity in brain
  • Non-invasive
  • Very accurate
  • High equiment requirements and maintenance costs
  • Measures blood flow in brain using MRI (haemodynamics)
  • Blood flow correlates to neural activity
  • Studies the brain‘s function
  • Very accurate
  • Very high costs due to MRI

Reading the brain

direct interfaces via eeg
Direct Interfaces via EEG
  • Required if haptic or linguistic interfaces inoperable (“locked in”)
  • Four typical techniques:
    • VEP
    • P300
    • ERS/ERD
    • SSVEP

Direct Interface Techniques

vep background
VEP - Background
  • “visual evoked potential”
  • caused by visual stimulation
  • occurs with flashing lights (3 – 6 Hz)

Direct Interface Techniques

vep application
VEP - Application
  • Checkerboard with 64 fields
    • letters
    • words
  • “Splitting keyboard”

Direct Interface Techniques

p300 background
P300 - Background
  • positive curve on EEG after 300ms
  • relevant & seldom stimulation
  • strongest signal at parietal lobe

Direct Interface Techniques

p300 application
P300 - Application
  • Typing tool with 6x6 fields
  • Letter identification by column, row
  • Consecutive iteration
  • ~ 30 sec / letter

Direct Interface Techniques

ers erd application
ERS/ERD - Application
  • Event related synchronization / desynchronization
  • Imagined hand/foot movement
  • Cursor movement
  • FES coupling (functional electrical stimulation)

Direct Interface Techniques

ssvep background
SSVEP - Background
  • steady state visual evoked potential
  • steady amplitude on EEG
  • based on flickering neon tubes
  • amplitude consciously modifiable
    • biofeedback

Direct Interface Techniques

ssvep example
SSVEP - Example
  • Flight simulator
  • amplitude < threshold: left
  • amplitude > threshold: right

Direct Interface Techniques

bci applications
BCI Applications…
  • Medical applications:
    • Possibly only communication channel for people suffering from e.g. paraplegia, amyotrophia
    • Neuroprosthetics:
      • Surgically implanted devices used as replacement for damaged neurons
      • Currently available: cochlear implant (bionic ear)

BCI Applications

bci applications1
…BCI Applications
  • Human enhancement
    • Cyberntic Organisms
    • Brainwave Synchronization
    • Exocortex (intelligence booster)
  • Human manipulation
    • Mind-Control
    • „Neurohacking“: unwanted reading of information from the brain

BCI Applications

current projects
Current Projects
  • Berlin Brain-Computer-Interface
    • Joint Venture of several German research organisations
    • Supported by the Ministry of Education and Research
  • Graz Brain-Computer-Interface
    • Wide range of research topics
    • Impressive combination of BCI and FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation)