Silicon Valley new focus on brain computer interface: hype or hope for new applications?More about Open Access at the Crick
Authors listStefan Mitrasinovic Alexander PY Brown Andreas Schaefer Steven D Chang Geoff Appelboom
In the last year there has been increasing interest and investment into developing devices to interact with the central nervous system, in particular developing a robust brain-computer interface (BCI). In this article, we review the most recent research advances and the current host of engineering and neurological challenges that must be overcome for clinical application. In particular, space limitations, isolation of targeted structures, replacement of probes following failure, delivery of nanomaterials and processing and understanding recorded data. Neural engineering has developed greatly over the past half-century, which has allowed for the development of better neural recording techniques and clinical translation of neural interfaces. Implementation of general purpose BCIs face a number of constraints arising from engineering, computational, ethical and neuroscientific factors that still have to be addressed. Electronics have become orders of magnitude smaller and computationally faster than neurons, however there is much work to be done in decoding the neural circuits. New interest and funding from the non-medical community may be a welcome catalyst for focused research and development; playing an important role in future advancements in the neuroscience community.