Brain–computer interface

A Brain- Computer Interface (BCI ), and brain-machine interface ( BMI), German brain -computer interface (sometimes called brain -machine interface, brain - computer interface), is a special man-machine interface which allows activation without the peripheral nervous system, such as the use of the limbs, the connection between the brain and a computer. For this purpose, either the electrical activity recorded ( usually non-invasive or invasive EEG by implanted electrodes) or the activity of the brain hemodynamic measured ( fMRI or NIRS) and analyzed with the aid of computers ( pattern recognition ) and converted into control signals. The BCI represents an application of Neural Engineering


Brain- computer interfaces based on the observation that already causes measurable changes in brain electrical activity, the idea of a behavior. For example, the idea of ​​moving a hand or foot, to the activation of the motor cortex. In a training process, the Brain- Computer Interface learns ( ie both the computer and the human being ), what changes in brain activity are correlated with certain ideas. This information can then be converted into control signals for various applications. An example of a simple brain-computer interface is a choice of two alternatives by the user imagines, either the left hand or to move the right foot.

The communication between man and machine is possible with all previously developed brain-computer interfaces in only one direction. Thus man learns Although power of the mind tell the computer something that the computer response is, however, so far only on the normal sensory systems of the organism mediated ( as images, sounds, or electrical stimulation of the skin).

Application Examples

Find The most important use brain-computer interfaces to support people with physical disabilities. In conjunction with a can Buchstabiermaschine as those with a locked-in syndrome, which can not move to-talk necessary muscles allow communication with the outside world.

Brain- computer interfaces should also serve to increase the mobility of disabled people. Target here are controlled by nerve impulses prostheses, come the actual limbs, getting closer.

The number of commands that can distinguish a Brain- Computer Interface reliable, depends largely on the quality of the EEG. Measurements on the scalp in principle have only a very limited accuracy. The development of electrodes that can remain implanted in the long term, therefore, is more recent research.