Brain-Interfaces is your one-stop shop for all things brain-computer interface (BCI), brain-machine interface (BMI), and neuroprosthetics. This section covers both invasive and noninvasive hardware as well as interesting programming, software, and analysis techniques emerging in the field.

  • The future of brain-computer interface: A glimpse into the nanomembrane-filled crystal ball

    By gracewlindsay | November 6, 2012

    Brain-computer interface is... just what it sounds like. Some device is used to transfer information about the brain's activity to a computer, or vice versa. So we end up with two flavors of BCI: recording (for the brain-to-computer direction), and stimulating (for the computer-to-brain path). Utilizing the lucky fact that electrical signals are the language of the brain, we can do both of these things with tiny electrodes placed either in, on, or next to cells. And with this dual pathway we can then read off motor cortex information in order to move a prosthetic limb, or send seizure-combating signals into an epileptic brain. It seems so simple, right? Read the rest of this entry »

  • Bringing together Biologically Inspired Vision and BMI on Mobile Robots

    By Varsha Shankar | August 25, 2012

    God and the human brain work in mysterious ways. Imagine if we could harness the power of the brain to move objects around in the world like a telekinetic super power. Better still, imagine a patient with locked-in syndrome plus those super powers and an object recognition system that is designed to look and learn like we do! Enter CogEye, Unlock and the topic of this post. Read the rest of this entry »

  • Silicon synapses

    By Massimiliano Versace | December 8, 2011

    I was recently interviewed by Scope, a publication established in 2005 to showcase the work undertaken by the students in the MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing. The interview was about a research project led by Chi-Sang Poon, whose MIT group has designed a chip emulating in detail the dynamics of brain synapses, the junctions between neurons. Read the rest of this entry »

  • Study Computational Neuroscience at Boston University

    By Frank Guenther | September 21, 2011

    Computational BrainThe Computational Neuroscience PhD specialization of Boston University’s Graduate Program for Neuroscience provides students with a uniquely specialized curriculum that supplements core neuroscience coursework with advanced training in a wide array of computational methods for studying the nervous system and developing neuroscience-related technologies. Topics of study include: neural network modeling, neural dynamics, sensory, motor, and cognitive modeling, statistical modeling, sensory and motor prosthesis, brain-machine interfaces, neuroinformatics, neuromorphic engineering, and robotics. Coursework is chosen from the wide array of computational and neuroscience courses offered by the many departments and programs of the main Boston University campus and the BU School of Medicine. Students pursue their research interests in laboratories across the University and have the opportunity to combine hands on experimental research with highly sophisticated computational analysis.

  • SSVEP-controlled robots

    By Sean Lorenz | September 2, 2011

    Both the brain-computer interface (BCI) and bran-machine interface (BMI) fields have shown some interesting applications as of late. One interesting potential is sure to be seen in the realm of EEG-controlled robotics. A partnership between the Neural Prosthetics Lab, Neuromorphics Lab, and Speech Lab at Boston University is underway to merge adaptive robotics with BCI control. Read the rest of this entry »

  • The future is drying up

    By Sean Lorenz | May 21, 2011

    A few months ago, a neuromarketing firm, NeuroFocus, announced to the world the first wireless full brain coverage dry EEG cap -- Mynd. The heavens parted and the brain-computer interface (BCI) community bowed before this humble offering of EEG cap which doth not requireth copious amounts of electrode goo. And it was good.

    Engadget was one of the first to pick up NeuroFocus' press release, prompting quite the conversation in the comments section with plenty of unnecessarily snark words being written on the topic. Several folks wanted to know what all the fuss was about and how Mynd was any different than the Emotiv Epoc or MindWave headsets. Well, the primary difference is electrode real estate. Read the rest of this entry »

  • BCI Trends and Forecasts

    By Sean Lorenz | August 9, 2010

    During the first week in June, the 4th international BCI Meeting was held outside beautiful Monterey, California. This being my first BCI conference, I was excited to find out what innovations in the field were either in development or already being implemented. The organizers mentioned that the number of meeting participants had grown exponentially since its last gathering five years ago, a trend that mimics the number of BCI publications produced each year. A PubMed search for "brain-computer interface" gave 209 results for 1990-2009, whereas from 2006-2010 the same search yielded 507 results in just four years. Read the rest of this entry »

  • The ever-changing BCI demographic

    By Sean Lorenz | February 20, 2010

    Brain-computer interfacing is an area of research that is currently in flux as researchers try to understand not only what but who BCIs will work best for. One study by a group of researchers at Bremen University, Germany has recently attempted to determine who, exactly, is the key demographic for BCI use. More specifically, they looked at a group of subjects using a certain flavor of EEG-based BCI called steady state visually evoked potential (SSVEP), a technique where visual stimuli are flashed on a screen at certain frequencies. These flashes have very nice EEG signals for increasing classification accuracy during a certain visual task. Read the rest of this entry »