Brain-computer interface technology: a review of the Second International Meeting
This paper summarizes the Brain-Computer Interfaces for Communication and Control, The Second International Meeting, held in Rensselaerville, NY, in June 2002. Sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and organized by the Wadsworth Center of the New York State Department of Health, the meeting addressed current work and future plans in brain-computer interface (BCI) research. Ninety-two researchers representing 38 different research groups from the United States, Canada, Europe, and China participated. The BCIs discussed at the meeting use electroencephalographic activity recorded from the scalp or single-neuron activity recorded within cortex to control cursor movement, select letters or icons, or operate neuroprostheses. The central element in each BCI is a translation algorithm that converts electrophysiological input from the user into output that controls external devices. BCI operation depends on effective interaction between two adaptive controllers, the user who encodes his or her commands in the electrophysiological input provided to the BCI, and the BCI that recognizes the commands contained in the input and expresses them in device control. Current BCIs have maximum information transfer rates of up to 25 b/min. Achievement of greater speed and accuracy requires improvements in signal acquisition and processing, in translation algorithms, and in user training. These improvements depend on interdisciplinary cooperation among neuroscientists, engineers, computer programmers, psychologists, and rehabilitation specialists, and on adoption and widespread application of objective criteria for evaluating alternative methods. The practical use of BCI technology will be determined by the development of appropriate applications and identification of appropriate user groups, and will require careful attention to the needs and desires of individual users.