Here is my presentation from the World Usability Day 2013 on Brain-Computer Interfaces. There I reviewed basics of the BCI, neuroimaging modalities used in the signal acquisition, control signals that determine user intentions, and overview various BCI applications that control a range of devices discussing neurofeedback technology for medical, learning and gaming applications.
It is important to realize that the fashion in any technology business is necessary for an acceleration potential, e.g. more money for R&D. Still fashionability has nothing to do with the technology itself. You can have least developed, expensive, compexity-redundant but for some reason well-known (marketed) solution.
From the technological perspective we did a big moves in the field of Brain-Computer Interfaces. I propose here to look carefully at the graph (above) and a chronology of main results in the domain(below) to analyze correlation of article number and results.
- 1957: John Eccles used intracellular single-unit recording to study synaptic mechanisms in motoneurons (for which he won the Nobel Prize in 1963).
- 1958: Stainless steel microelectrodes developed for recording.
- 1959: Studies by David H. Hubel and Torsten Wiesel. They used single neuron recordings to map the visual cortex in unanesthesized, unrestrained cats using tungsten electrodes. This work won them the Nobel Prize in 1981 for information processing in the visual system.
- 1960: Glass-insulated platinum microelectrodes developed for recording.
- 1967: The first record of multi-electrode arrays for recording was published by Marg and Adams. They applied this method to record many units at a single time in a single patient for diagnostic and therapeutic brain surgery.
- 1978: Schmidt et al. implanted chronic recording micro-cortical electrodes into the cortex of monkeys and showed that they could teach them to control neuronal firing rates, a key step to the possibility of recording neuronal signals and using them for BMIs.
- 1981: Kruger and Bach assemble 30 individual microelectrodes in a 5x6 configuration and implant the electrodes for simultaneous recording of multiple units.
- 1992: Development of the “Utah Intracortical Electrode Array (UIEA), a multiple-electrode array which can access the columnar structure of the cerebral cortex for neurophysiological or neuroprosthetic applications”.
- 1994: The Michigan array, a silicon planar electrode with multiple recording sites, was developed. NeuroNexus, a private neurotechnology company, is formed based on this technology.
- 1998: A key breakthrough for BMIs was achieved by Kennedy and Bakay with development of neurotrophic electrodes. In patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurological condition affecting the ability to control voluntary movement, they were able to successfully record action potentials using microelectrode arrays to control a computer cursor.
As you can probably see, there is no correlation. The last 15 years are the years of steady incremental innovation. BCI is becoming more popular, But… Bit these indirect data give us a sign that the field is still in the phase of early development. Present limitations are due to lack of knowledge of the neuronal signalling mechanisms that lay beneath electrical activation or technical methods of signal processing.
Presented by Israeli President Shimon Peres, the one million dollar B.R.A.I.N. Prize was awarded to The BrainGate team led by Dr. John Donoghue (Brown University) and Dr. Arto Nurmikko, in recognition of their outstanding work in brain-computer interfaces. The winner was announced at the 1st International BrainTech Israel 2013 Conference in Tel Aviv today.
As we reported earlier the B.R.A.I.N (Breakthrough Research And Innovation in Neurotechnology) Prize is an international award granted for a recent breakthrough in the field of brain technology for the betterment of humanity. The award was granted by Israel Brain Technologies (IBT), a non-profit organization inspired by President Peres vision of turning Israel into a global hub of brain technology innovation.
BrainGate was selected by an international judging committee of distinguished neuroscience and technology leaders headed by Dr. Gerald Fishbach, which included Nobel Laureates Profs. Eric Kandel, and Bert Sakmann.
Many words said about emerging technology and its assessment. In order not to be overwhelmed with terminology and magazine-like bla-bla-bla, lets just drill to definitions. The need for clarity here is linked to the infancy state of the BCI industry and the absence of a technology roadmap.
A major hurdle in brain-computer interfaces is the lack of an implantable neural interface system that remains viable for a lifetime. The paper explores the fundamental system design trade-offs and ultimate size, power, and bandwidth scaling limits of neural recording systems.
We meet at Google Campus. Israel, the #1 country worldwide according to R&D budget segment, is striving to make its step forward from a “startup-nation” towards a “brain-nation”. Brainihack is a weekend long hackathon October 11th-12th, 2013, that will put Brain Computer Interface devices in the hands of developers, designers, makers and visionaries. Projects & groups are currently forming. Go add a project In the meantime, here are some of the ideas being developed:
- Learning-enhancer: optimizing studying habits with BCI
- BCI operated wheel-chair
- Neuro-feedback for sleep disorders
- Neuro-telepathy? using BCI to “connect” people’s minds
- Emotion detection: mapping EEG response to Ekman’s micro-expressions
- 3D-print your brain-waves
Virtuix’ Omni kickstarter crowding-funding campaign this Summer managed to surpass the company’s funding expectations by almost a million dollars. Earlier today I had the pleasure to chat with Jan Goetgeluk, the CEO of Virtuix, the company that helped us experience Virtual Reality (VR) like never before.
Prelude: If you don’t know about the Omni by now, I conclude that you live under a metaphorical rock. Anyways, the company introduced the device through a kickstarter, and since then gaming/VR/human-computer interaction (HCI) enthusiasts have been in awe.
In this introductory post I would like to show an importance of the comparative trait of our behavior. I will try in a few words to tell how this trait is used in serious games for R&D purposes in Neuroscience and Brain-Computer Interfaces.
When we were all kids, we used to play games. Games help us to train the imagination and the will by comparing own results with results of others and by looking back to the past at ourselves as well. Thus, ability to compare things is embedded in our minds, being a generator of myriads of activities: sports, intellectual education, decision making. Even our thinking is not alien to categories such as fairness and envy. People as well as some animals receive very strong emotions while noticing a difference between their expectations and observations.
The Brain-Computer interfaces (BCI) with all its applications in learning, neurofeedback, decision making and rehabilitation are rolling out more and more. As researchers at Duke University have demonstrated brain-to-brain communication between two rats, and Harvard researchers have demonstrated it between a human and a rat, Rao and Stocco believe this is the first demonstration of human-to-human brain interfacing
University of Washington researcher Rajesh Rao, left, plays a computer game with his mind. Across campus, researcher Andrea Stocco, right, wears a magnetic stimulation coil over the left motor cortex region of his brain. Stocco’s right index finger moved involuntarily to hit the “fire” button as part of the first human brain-to-brain interface demonstration.