Brain Computer Interface

A brain-computer interface, sometimes called a direct neural interface or a brain machine interface, is a direct communication pathway between a human or animal brain (or brain cell culture) and an external device. In one BCIs, computers either accept commands from the brain or send signals to it but not both. Two way BCIs will allow brains and external devices to exchange information in both directions but have yet to be successfully implanted in animals or humans. Brain-Computer interface is a staple of science fiction writing. In its earliest incarnations no mechanism was thought necessary, as the technology seemed so far fetched that no explanation was likely. As more became known about the brain however, the possibility has become more real and the science fiction more technically sophisticated. Recently, the cyberpunk movement has adopted the idea of 'jacking in', sliding 'biosoft' chips into slots implanted in the skull(Gibson, W.1984).Although such biosofts are still science fiction, there have been several recent steps toward interfacing the brain and computers.


A Brain implant (brain-machine interface) is a communication system that does not depend on the brains normal output pathways of peripheral nerves and muscles. It is a new communication link between a functioning human brain and the outside world. These are electronic interfaces with the brain, which has the ability to send and receive signals from the brain. BMI uses brain activity to command, control, actuate and communicate with the world directly through brain integration with peripheral devices and systems. The signals from the brain are taken to the computer via the implants for data entry without any direct brain intervention. BMI transforms mental decisions and/or reactions into control signals by analyzing the bioelectrical brain activity. 

Brain implants, often referred to as neural implants, are technological devices that connect directly to a biological subject's brain - usually placed on the surface of the brain, or attached to the brain's cortex. A common purpose of modern brain implants and the focus of much current research is establishing a biomedical prosthesis circumventing areas in the brain that have become dysfunctional after a stroke or other head injuries. This includes sensory substitution, e.g., in vision. Other brain implants are used in animal experiments simply to record brain activity for scientific reasons. Some brain implants involve creating interfaces between neural systems and computer chips. This work is part of a wider research field called brain-computer interfaces. (Brain-computer interface research also includes technology such as EEG arrays that allow interface between mind and machine but do not require direct implantation of a device.)

Neural-implants such as deep brain stimulation and Vagus nerve stimulation are increasingly becoming routine for patients with Parkinson's disease and clinical depression respectively, proving themselves as a boon for people with diseases which were previously regarded as incurable.

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  • Rajdeep Janorkar

    Brain Computer Interface 1 month ago