Apr 15, 2014

Brain-computer interfaces: a powerful tool for scientific inquiry

Brain-computer interfaces: a powerful tool for scientific inquiry.

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2014 Apr;25C:70-75

Authors: Wander JD, Rao RP

Abstract. Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are devices that record from the nervous system, provide input directly to the nervous system, or do both. Sensory BCIs such as cochlear implants have already had notable clinical success and motor BCIs have shown great promise for helping patients with severe motor deficits. Clinical and engineering outcomes aside, BCIs can also be tremendously powerful tools for scientific inquiry into the workings of the nervous system. They allow researchers to inject and record information at various stages of the system, permitting investigation of the brain in vivo and facilitating the reverse engineering of brain function. Most notably, BCIs are emerging as a novel experimental tool for investigating the tremendous adaptive capacity of the nervous system.

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