Brain Computer Interface

A brain computer interface is a connection between a human or animal brain with an external device. In other words, it uses the human brain to make an external device function. This concept can also change to a two way BCI, where a person’s brain and machine can exchange data.

History and Development:

The first research into BCI began in the 1970's. Experiments involving monkeys showed that an individual can mentally control the firing of specific neurons. Scientists studied motor cortex neurons and created algorithms for reconstructing movements. This led to studies in the 1980's which created mathematical formulas describing the functional relationship between the electrical impulses of neurons and the direction of movement in rhesus monkeys. Advancing technologies sparked interest in BCI research in the 1990's, bringing BCI devices out of the theoretical stage and into real-world application. Scientists are now able to harness the power of groups of neurons and use the captured signals to control external devices.
As research continues to advance, individuals previously handicapped through disease, tragic accident, or other means are finding themselves able to communicate and regain vision or use of muscles again through the use of implanted BCI devices. In the future, this technology may move beyond the therapeutic realm and provide opportunities for behavior modification and human improvement and enrichment.


The applications of the BCI include the possibility of actually running a computer or any machinery with your mind. It brings the phrase “if you think it you can make it” to a literal sense. The other applications are actually managing machines with your mind such as databases or monitoring a network.

One of the major objectives of this research is to create a multi-position, brain-controlled switch that is activated by an impulse directly from an individual’s brain. There is reason to believe that such a switch will allow an individual with a severe disability to have effective control of devices such as computers and appliances in natural environments. The brain computer interface would also help people who have a damaged nervous system to be replaced by a neural prosthetic. With the help of direct-brain interface it would increase an individual’s independence, leading to an improved and better overall quality of life.

Web Resources:'


Neural Prosthetic- Artificial nervous system.