Brain Computer Interface Challenges

The Brain Computer Interface (BCI) allows users to control computers and other devices, with their thoughts. BCIs track the user’s brain activity, translate it into commands that can be used to operate the device, and provide feedback to the user to allow the user to correct the inputs that generated errors.

The most popular method of BCIs is to make use of electrodes attached to the head or body to record brain signals. The digital signals are examined to identify relevant signals that best meet the user’s requirements. These features may include EEG or ECoG response magnitudes and latencies, as well as power within certain EEG or ECoG frequency bands and firing rates of individual cortical neurons.

As shown by our survey, the public is enthusiastic about the prospect of applying BCI technology for a variety of purposes. It is evident that BCI researchers must address the concerns raised by the public, and their own experts, in order to ensure responsible growth of this emerging technology.

The most pressing issue that is still to be solved is increasing the reliability of BCI. A BCI must be as reliable in real life as muscle-based actions. This requires a CNS that is sufficiently flexible to let the BCI learn to reliably identify and respond to the intended commands. Another major issue is the significant cost of invasive BCIs, that require both initial and ongoing implantation and technical support costs. If these costs aren’t substantially reduced, the commercial value of the BCI will likely be restricted to the most severely disabled patients.

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