Human Brain Computer Interfaces -Where Do We Go From Here?

The “Human Brain Computer Interface” (BCI) is a system by which the brain is connected to some electronic devices in order to monitor and alter the way it reacts. This may be done to make some improvements in functioning and the medical state of mind, or simply for research purposes.

History of the Brain Computer Interfaces

It goes back to 1970s when the research on this topic first started in California University. This is also where the name “Human Brain Computer Interface” was used for the first time. The study was focused on the treatment of health problems related to vision and hearing. However, the study of brain waves was carried way before in 1929. Some of the brilliant scientists in this field are Hans Berger, Jacques Vidal, etc.

Achievements in the Field of BCI

A lot of researches in the field have resulted in several achievements, like improving the coordination of body parts in patients of spinal cord injuries or paralysis, or restoring the vision and hearing in patients to some extent using chips installed in their brains. Some breakthroughs in this field are:

  • 1998- implantation of first interface device into human brain,
  • 2006- microelectrode array planted in a patient which resulted in remarkable improvements,
  • 2013- the first wireless brain computer interface.

Hundreds of thousands of neural surgeries are performed every year based on mapping of the brain progress using the brain-computer interface to treat tumors and install various types of chips and other implants.

 

The Future of Human-Brain Computer Interface

The most interesting aspect of the brain-computer interface is that researchers believe that this technology can be used to transmit information from one brain to another (transcranial magnetic stimulation), which will be a revolution in the field of neurological science. That would change the way we think and live, and can result in the improvement of anti-criminal programs.

The other important futuristic vision of this field is treating millions of people affected by neurological illnesses, like epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, stroke, paralysis, etc. On average, 7 million people die each year due to these diseases and many more suffer from spinal cord injuries.

In addition, researchers are working on making these systems more affordable, simple, reliable and accessible to the common men. Since the mechanism and equipment are not user-friendly because of so many circuits installed on the brain, scientists are looking forward to developing chip mechanism to ease the process.

Rajat CHAKRABORTY Written by:

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