BY- SAMAIRA GULERIA
WHAT IS BCI?
A BCI is a computer-based system that acquires brain signals, analyzes them, and translates them into commands that are relayed to an output device to carry out a desired action. Thus, BCIs do not use the brain’s normal output pathways of peripheral nerves and muscles. This definition strictly limits the term BCI to systems that measure and use signals produced by the central nervous system (CNS). Thus, for example, a voice-activated or muscle-activated communication system is not a BCI. Furthermore, an electroencephalogram (EEG) machine alone is not a BCI because it only records brain signals but does not generate an output that acts on the user’s environment. It is a misconception that BCIs are mind-reading devices. Brain-computer interfaces do not read minds in the sense of extracting information from unsuspecting or unwilling users but enable users to act on the world by using brain signals rather than muscles. The user and the BCI work together. The user, often after a period of training, generates brain signals that encode intention, and the BCI, also after training, decodes the signals and translates them into commands to an output device that accomplishes the user’s intention.
HOW BCI WORKS?
YES, brain functions can be detected. For example, there is a small area in the brain that is activated when you do a numeric calculation in your head. Other areas are involved in different aspects of understanding language and speaking. When these areas are active a BCI can detect if a person is adding in their head, or is talking.
By placing the electrodes exactly on brain areas that someone can control, we obtain signals that respond to that control. When a signal is detected, it can be converted to a command to operate a device or software. A computer can then be programmed to use this information to perform specific tasks.
now i have been talking all about the advantages of BCI but this does not mean that it does not have disadvantages. To list a few of them:
-Difficulty in adaptation and learning
-It is very expensive
-Information transformation rate is limited to 20 bits/min.
Brain computer interfaces have been proved to be boon for disabled people at large.As BCI Technology further advances the brain tissues may one day give way to silicon chips thereby creating a completely simulation of human brain that can be augmented at will.