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Shvoong Home>Science>Brain Computer Interface - BCI Summary

Brain Computer Interface - BCI

Article Summary   by:Chesh     Original Author: Chesh
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BCI stands for Brain Computer Interface, a system capable of acquiring brain activity’s signals, interpret them and eventually use them for any kind of purpose. This technology focuses on specific interaction between an individual and any computer. Its prime objective is to allow the user to communicate with a digital environment resorting exclusively to “thought stimuli” [1; 7]. The functional system of BCI could be summarized in four steps: signal acquisition; signal processing (which includes: pre-processing and feature extraction); classification (of the signal); application interface, which can be biofeedback (the interface itself gives the user information about his brain activity) or output devices like neuroprosthesis and wheeling chairs) [7]. There are two major fields of BCI applications: medical field (rehabilitation and treatment) and entertainment field, where it is thought that, in a distant future, this technology will achieve an enormous success. Concerning rehabilitation, this technology’s main contribution is based upon prostheses, but it can also have an important role in: functional control of electric stimuli; virtual keyboards; pointing device equipment; vehicle control; etc. Some significant applications of a BCI system in treatment are, for example, the restitution of a communication signal for patients with locked-in syndrome or the control of neuroprosthesis by patients affected with Spinal Cord injuries. Even though it is still a low performance system, BCI attracts people who only seek entertainment as well. Some companies have begun to invest in this area, since it will undoubtedly revolutionize the way people carry out simple tasks (in terms of commodity and amusement).
Published: May 06, 2007   
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