Non-invasive brain-computer interfaces

Researcher:
Prof. Miriam Zacksenhouse | Mechanical Engineering

Categories:

Information and Computer Science | Medical Devices

The Technology

A person suffering neural damage may lose motor control of one or more body parts. Although some people may recover from strokes, a majority of patients suffer from residual neurological deficits that persistently impair function. Restoration of motor function involves instigating regenerative responses that promote the growth of new neural connections in the brain, a process known to those skilled in the art as brain plasticity. The use of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) is well established as a way to enable users to interact with their environment through brain signals.

The technology is based on a system and method for motor training and rehabilitation incorporating a brain-machine interface. The system includes an acquisition element configured to acquire brain activity data from a user, a physical actuator configured to interact with movement of a body part of the user, and a computing unit operatively coupled to the acquisition element and the physical actuator. The computing unit being configured to instruct the user to perform a motor exercise, continually monitor user movement parameters, receive and continually process the brain activity data from the user, decode the brain activity data from the user in real time to extract an error-related potential signal, and adjust an operational parameter of the physical actuator based on the ErrP signal.

Advantages

  • BCI rehabilitation devices may incorporate real time closed-loop feedback to enhance the recruitment of selected brain areas by guiding a more focused activation of specific brain signals
  • Provide various forms of feedback (real-time and/ or post-performance feedback feedback)
  • May help to accelerate brain plasticity, and thus reduce the length, difficulty and cost of the recovery process

Applications and Opportunities

  • A newly emerging use of BCI technology is in the area of motor training and rehabilitation.
arrow Business Development Contacts
Ilia Baskin
Director of Business Development, Engineering