A review on brain computer interfaces: contemporary achievements and future goals towards movement restoration

Alkinoos Athanasiou, Panagiotis D. Bamidis

Abstract


Restoration of motor functions of patients with loss of mobility constitutes a yet unsolved medical problem, but also one of the most prominent research areas of neurosciences. Among suggested solutions, Brain Computer Interfaces have received much attention. BCI systems use electric, magnetic or metabolic brain signals to allow for control of external devices, such as wheelchairs, computers or neuroprosthetics, by disabled patients. Clinical applications includespinal cord injury, cerebrovascular accident rehabilitation, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis patients. Various BCI systems are under re­search, facilitated by numerous measurement techniques including EEG, fMRI, MEG, nIRS and ECoG, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.Current research effort focuses on brain signal identification and extraction. Virtual Reality environments are also deployed for patient training. Wheelchair or robotic arm control has showed up as the first step towards actual mobility restoration. The next era of BCI research is envisaged to lie along the transmission of brain signals to systems that will control and restore movement of disabled patients via mechanical appendixes or directly to the muscle system by neurosurgical means.


Keywords


Brain computer interface, Disability, Mobility restoration, Neuroprosthetic

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