Brain-Computer Interface

Mar 02, 2005

A research group led by Academy Professor Mikko Sams is developing a brain-computer interface, a device that transforms electrical or magnetic brain signals into commands a computer can understand. Equipment of this kind is necessary. For instance, it enables physically disabled persons to use a computer keyboard. The Brain-Computer Interface, or BCI, allows both physically disabled and healthy persons to direct a computer by merely thinking of certain commands. The On-line Adaptive Brain-Computer Interface project which develops these interfaces is part of the Proactive Computing Research Programme (PROACT), which is funded by the Academy of Finland.

The Brain-Computer Interface is based on mental activity. When a person thinks about performing a particular task such as raising a finger, this gives rise to brain activity that can be measured through the scalp via electronic sensors called electrodes. Different mental tasks create different brain signals. The BCI being developed in Sams’ group relies specifically on the analysis of brain signals created by the movement of a finger. Measured signals do, however, contain background noise. The challenge is to identify those particular signal characteristics that relate to the movement of a single finger.

Development of the BCI improves understanding of signals created by the brain during different tasks. It also enables the development of mathematical methods used to decipher the tasks. The project is carried out in co-operation with the Käpylä Rehabilitation Centre and the Invalid Foundation in Finland to benefit quadriplegics.

Source: Academy of Finland

Explore further: Worm lizards dispersed by 'rafting' over oceans, not continental drift

Related Stories

Recommended for you

The humorous path to academic success

18 minutes ago

Academics and universities are in a race: to produce high impact publications, to gain citations, bring in grant income and climb university rankings. In this rat race, perhaps the true path to academic success ...

Scientists ask, peer review on fast track at what price?

1 hour ago

A fast-track peer-review trial is in the news. A Nature Publishing Group (NPG) -owned journal's editorial board member has resigned in protest over a pilot project where researchers pay for faster peer review. ...

'Amazing' physics demos to keep practical science alive

3 hours ago

With school students in England bracing themselves for new-style GCSE science exams that are based entirely on written tests, Physics World has teamed up with Neil Downie to put together "five amazing physics demonstrations" that h ...

Discovering missing body parts of ancient fossils

13 hours ago

Certain specimens of the fossil Dickinsonia are incomplete because ancient currents lifted them from the sea floor, a team of researchers led by paleontologists at the University of California, Riverside has fo ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.