Brain-Computer Interface — an overview, ScienceDirect Topics

Brain-Computer Interface

A brain–computer interface (BCI) is a system that measures activity of the central nervous system (CNS) and converts it into artificial output that replaces, restores, enhances, supplements, or improves natural CNS output, and thereby changes the ongoing interactions between the CNS and its external or internal environment.

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Brain–Computer Interface

Liliana Garcia, . Ricardo Ron-Angevin, in Neuroergonomics , 2018

Brain–computer interface (BCI) technology translates voluntary choices in active command using brain activity. In fact, brain electrical signals, particularly Evoked Related Potentials (ERPs), produced some ms after cognitive tasks, are frequently used to activate commands, being the visual-P300 based BCI system the main interface used for communication and control purpose. In the P300-speller BCI, the user’s task consists in visualizing a matrix of 6 × 6 rows and columns and then focusing attention on a desired character (target, rare event). Since its implementation, some authors have carried out different research for optimizing the P300-visual speller BCI to increase accuracy performance or improve usability (ie, 1 , 2 ). Until now, no studies have been conducted for manipulating speller sizes to ensure best conditions to user experience.

Volume 1


Implanted brain–computer interfaces (iBCIs) have made impressive advances since the first human proof-of-concept demonstrations. Humans with long-standing paralysis have been able to communicate by typing at productive rates and have controlled their own arm or a robotic arm to perform useful reach-and-grasp actions like drinking. Importantly, the body of available evidence so far does not raise safety concerns. However, neuroscience and engineering challenges remain for useful, generally available iBCIs. The two most formidable problems now are, first, a stable, long-lasting implanted electrode and, second, a sufficient understanding of neural information coding principles to generate rich, reliable, and flexible motor commands. Fully implantable microelectronics systems capable of signal processing and wireless transmission, as well as devices for high-throughput generation of command signals, are complex issues but appear to be feasible now or in the near term. Thus the ability to restore productive function, including movement of paralyzed limbs, to millions of people with paralysis at a requisite commercial scale is very promising. Consideration of costs, user needs, and regulatory matters, as well as ethical, legal, and social implications, must also be included as this technology develops.

Brain-Computer Interfaces: Lab Experiments to Real-World Applications

D.J. McFarland, T.M. Vaughan, in Progress in Brain Research , 2016


Brain–computer interfaces are systems that use signals recorded from the brain to enable communication and control applications for individuals who have impaired function. This technology has developed to the point that it is now being used by individuals who can actually benefit from it. However, there are several outstanding issues that prevent widespread use. These include the ease of obtaining high-quality recordings by home users, the speed, and accuracy of current devices and adapting applications to the needs of the user. In this chapter, we discuss some of these unsolved issues.

Brain Machine Interfaces: Implications for Science, Clinical Practice and Society

Sonja C. Kleih, . Andrea Kübler, in Progress in Brain Research , 2011


Brain–computer interfaces (BCIs) have been investigated for more than 20 years. Many BCIs use noninvasive electroencephalography as a measurement technique and the P300 event-related potential as an input signal (P300 BCI). Since the first experiment with a P300 BCI system in 1988 by Farwell and Donchin, not only data processing has improved but also stimuli presentation has been varied and a plethora of applications was developed and refined. Nowadays, these applications are facing the challenge of being transferred from the research laboratory into real-life situations to serve motor-impaired people in their homes as assistive technology.

Brain–Computer Interface

Brain computer interfaces (BCIs) give their users communication and control channels that do not depend on peripheral nerves and muscles. The user’s intent is decoded from electrophysiological or other measures of brain activity. This brain activity is recorded noninvasively by electrodes on the scalp or invasively by electrodes placed on the brain surface or within the brain. BCIs can enable people who are severely paralyzed by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, brain stem stroke, or other disorders to communicate their wishes, operate word processing or other computer programs, or even control a neuroprosthesis. With further development and clinical validation, BCIs should significantly improve the lives of people with severe disabilities.

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Volume 2

Brain–computer interfaces have great potential to allow patients with severe neurologic disabilities to return to interaction with society through communication devices, environmental controllers, and movement devices. Interest in this field has dramatically increased. At the end of the last century, there were but a handful of centers investigating BCI. There is considerable international interest in resolving communication and mobility deficits through BCI. Key biological problems as well as computer and engineering problems remain to be resolved. In this chapter, the problems are discussed from a neurosurgical perspective: patient selection, lead configuration, location of the lead, housing of electronic components, maintenance of the device, and future directions.

Neurological Rehabilitation


Brain−computer interfaces (BCIs) are systems that give their users communication and control capabilities that do not depend on muscles. The user’s intentions are determined from activity recorded by electrodes on the scalp, on the cortical surface, or within the brain. BCIs can enable people who are paralyzed by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), brainstem stroke, or other disorders to convey their needs and wishes to others, to operate word-processing programs or other software, or possibly to control a wheelchair or a neuroprosthesis. BCI technology might also augment rehabilitation protocols aimed at restoring useful motor function. With continued development and clinical implementation, BCIs could substantially improve the lives of those with severe disabilities.

Brain–Computer Interface Contributions to Neuroergonomics

Fabien Lotte, Raphaëlle N. Roy, in Neuroergonomics , 2019


Brain–Computer Interfaces (BCIs) are systems that can translate brain activity patterns into messages or commands for an interactive application. As such, the technology used to design them, and in particular to design passive BCIs, which are a new means to perform mental state monitoring, can greatly benefit the neuroergonomics field. Therefore, this chapter describes the classical structure of the brain signal-processing chain employed in BCIs, notably presenting the typically used preprocessing (spatial and spectral filtering, artifact removal), feature extraction, and classification algorithms. It also gives examples of the use of BCI technology for neuroergonomics applications, either offline for evaluation purposes (e.g., cockpit design or stereoscopic display assessment), or online for adaptation purposes (e.g., video game difficulty level or air traffic controller display adaptation).

Brain–Computer Interface☆


Brain–computer interfaces (BCIs) provide the brain with new output channels that depend on brain activity rather than on peripheral nerves and muscles. BCIs can for example provide communication and control, in which the user’s intent is decoded from electrophysiological measures of brain activity. The brain activity might be recorded noninvasively by sensors on the scalp or invasively by electrodes placed on the brain surface or within the brain. BCIs can enable people who are severely paralyzed by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, brainstem stroke, or other disorders to communicate their wishes, operate word processing or other computer programs, or even control a neuroprosthesis. They also show promise as a tool for enhancing functional recovery in people with strokes, brain or spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, or other neuromuscular disorders. With further development and clinical validation, BCIs should significantly improve the lives of people with neuromuscular disabilities. The nature and extent of their potential value for the general population are yet to be determined.

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Can lice appear from nerves: myth or reality

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It was 2008. I was chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and the biggest presentation of my life. I had eight make-or-break minutes to launch my career.

It was the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN. For traditional storytellers, it’s the Super Bowl. If I nailed it, I was guaranteed and endless supply of clients and fame. Mess it up? Be forgotten forever. There were no second chances.

In the weeks leading up to that stage, I lived by the mantra: Practice makes perfect.

I wrote every word of those eight minutes and practiced them incessantly. In the car, in the shower, even as I walked through the produce section of the grocery store. The day of the presentation, I was ready.

Or so I thought.

I’d fallen into one of the most common public speaking myths. Whether it’s your first time speaking or you’re an old pro, there are several public speaking myths that can kill even the best presentation.

Here are three of them for you to avoid:

1. Practice Makes Perfect

That fateful day in 2008, I stood in front of 500 people and delivered a flawless, eight-minute speech. Every word was accounted for. My practice paid off.

In the moments following my presentation, there were no hive-fives or future opportunities. My greatest fear realized, I was escorted off stage and forgotten.

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Why Ignore This Myth:

Practice is essential to a successful presentation, but too much practice can ruin it. Excessive practicing makes you sound rigid and unapproachable.

Aim for preparedness. Practice enough to be confident and comfortable with your major points and the content to support them, but not so practiced that the presentation is memorized or rote. Leave room for spontaneity and audience connection.

2. Avoid Using Slides

Slidedecks have become so common and poorly executed that an anti-culture has formed. Articles and leaders like Jeff Bezos encourage speakers to abandon the deck all together.

For years I was a part of this anti-slide movement, delivering presentations ranging from forty-five minutes to several hours without any deck support. I wore my no-slides-approach like a badge of honor: evidence I was «so good» I didn’t need slides.

Why Ignore This Myth:

One day a friend admitted to me he preferred presentations with slides, «It helps me organize and understand what I’m learning.»

I had to agree. When I’m in the audience, I like a good deck to accompany a great speaker. Effective slide presentations add visual interest, organize complicated information, and perhaps most importantly keep speakers on message so you don’t have to memorize every word (see Myth #1).

Use slides! Just remember: You are the main attraction, your slides are just the support. If, heaven forbid, your computer eats your deck, you should be able to speak without it.

3. Imagine Everyone in Their Underwear

Why Ignore This Myth:

So. Many. Reasons.

Seriously, if you have pre-presentation nerves, imaging what the audience is (or is not) wearing is not going to help. Instead, remind yourself why you’re delivering the message and imagine what the audience will gain by hearing it.

The One Myth that Can Save You

Though there are many myths working against you, there is one that can save your presentation.

Myth #4: Public Speaking Is Feared More than Death.

In 2012, a Psychology Today article titled, «The Thing we Fear More Than Death,» stated «public speaking» commonly outranks «death» in surveys about what people fear most. Jerry Seinfeld famously put this information into context with his quote, «. This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.»

While that statement oversimplifies the reality—if a gun really was to your head and your children were standing in front of you and you were given a choice to die or speak, which would you really choose?—this «myth» can save you when stakes are highest.

Fear is speaking’s arch-nemesis. Your ability to re-frame your fear is critical to your success. In those moments right before you speak, give yourself a calming pat on the back for having the courage to do what most people avoid like the plague, and then go kill it up there.

Though I can’t undo those over-practiced eight minutes in 2008, my hope is you’ll ignore the myths and nail every presentation you give.

Can lice appear from nerves: myth or reality

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Since ancient times people have held the notion that there’s something mysterious, unpredictable, and even divine about where good ideas come from. But according to David Burkus, assistant professor of management at Oral Roberts University, today researchers are studying the heck out of creativity and much of what we think we know about the topic is just plain wrong.

In his well-researched and thoughtful book «The Myths of Creativity: The Truth About How Innovative Companies and People Generate Great Ideas,» Burkus identifies 10 popular and untrue beliefs that are holding people back from being more creative.

The Eureka Myth

Remember the story about how Isaac Newton was sitting under a tree when an apple fell on his head inspiring him to figure out gravitation? While it may seem like great ideas just appear out of nowhere, usually they’re actually preceded with some thinking and a period of subconscious incubation.

«Taking a break from the problem and focusing on something else entirely gives the mind some time to release its fixation on the same solutions and let the old pathways fade from memory. Then, when you return to the original problem, your mind is more open to new possibilities,» Burkus writes.

This is the thinking that some people are naturally more creative, whether because of their personality or genetics. Scientific studies do not support this. Anyone can be creative if taught good techniques for surfacing ideas.

The Originality Myth

While you might think great ideas are original, most great ideas springboard off other ideas. Burkus gives scads of examples from history.

In literature, Shakespeare’s Henry VI plays contain a strong influence from his contemporary Christopher Marlowe’s Tamburlaine the Great. Marlowe’s Tamburlaine itself borrows its plot from popular historical books of the time, blended with tales Marlowe had heard from Persia and Turkey. In art, Vincent van Gogh copied the paintings of influential artists of his time, including Emile Bernard, Eugene Delacroix, and Jean-Francois Millet. All told, more than thirty paintings by van Gogh can be traced back to other original sources. In film, George Lucas’s Star Wars films are novel combinations of spaghetti westerns, Akira Kurosawa samurai films, and Flash Gordon serials blended together against a borrowed plotline that Joseph Campbell explained in The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

He also explains a concept called the «adjacent possible» borrowed from evolutionary theory which dictates the finite number of technologies that can be discovered by building off technology that already exists and how it can be combined in various ways to create new things.

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The Expert Myth

While it makes sense that the depth of a person’s knowledge affects the quality of his or her work, Burkus says at a certain point too much expertise hampers creativity.

«Not every organization can hand over every problem to the masses of online solvers or offer a one-year fellowship to bring help from an outsider, but they can still leverage the hidden talent of outsider perspectives,» Burkus writes. «Building teams of people from diverse backgrounds, or at least encouraging the sharing of problems across functional teams, should allow for more perspectives on the problem and more potentials solutions.»

The Incentive Myth

The level of a person’s creativity is highly dependent upon their motivation to solve a particular problem. This isn’t something you want to incentivize, however. External rewards to spur motivation don’t work nearly as well as if you can get a person to be intrinsically motivated, meaning they’re interested in and engrossed by their work.

The Lone Creator Myth

Some of the world’s most famous invention stories are fabrications that give credit to one person instead of the team really behind the innovation. Thomas Edison and the light bulb is one example, Burkus says, pointing out that Edison’s patent for «Improvement in Electric Lights» only has his name on it in spite of the fact that at the time he filed it he employed a team of engineers, machinists, and physicists who called themselves «muckers» and likely contributed to the technology.

«Most of the further improvements in lightbulbs, telegraphs, and phonographs that we attribute to Edison were actually derived from or included the work of the muckers, while Edison spent a considerable amount of time dealing with clients, speaking to the press, or entertaining potential investors,» Burkus writes.

The Brainstorming Myth

We’ve all participated in brainstorming sessions but most organizations aren’t doing them right.

Burkus cites research psychologist Keith Sawyer who says that the process of brainstorming actually needs to sit in the middle of an eight-stage process—one that includes asking the right question, becoming an expert, practicing mindfulness, taking time off from a problem so your subconscious can incubate, generating lots of ideas (this is the brainstorming part), fusing ideas, choosing the best ones and finally, making something out of your great ideas.

The Cohesive Myth

It’s logical to believe the rule that effective brainstorming involves suspending criticism so as to come up with as many good ideas as possible. If you want people to let down their guards and stop self-censoring themselves, they need to feel it’s safe to do so, right?

«But just below the surface of many outstanding creative teams, you’ll find that their process relies on structured conflict, not cohesion,» Burkus writes.

He holds up Pixar as a company that uses a strategy called «plussing» which requires any criticism of an idea to be paired with a suggestion for improving it.

The Constraints Myth

The notion that constraints inhibit creativity is a popular one. Who hasn’t heard the overused cliché «think outside the box?» Yet Burkus says in reality, the opposite is true.

«Many of the most prolific and creative people understand how stifling a blank slate can be,» he writes. «All creatives need some constraints. All artists need structure. Some of the most creative poetry comes in fixed forms such as the Japanese haiku or the English sonnet.»

The Mousetrap Myth

If you build a better mousetrap, chances are the world will not beat a path to your door, contrary to the popular saying to the contrary. You’re pumped up about your great idea, but most likely others will pick it to pieces or ignore it.

«It’s not enough for people to learn how to be more creative; they also need to be persistent through the rejection they might face,» Burkus writes.

Want more advice on how to be more creative? Check out 25 Ways to be More Creative.

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