The human brain is one of the most incredible and complex things not just in the human body, but on the face of this planet. For centuries scientists, trained technicians and medical researchers are trying to tap into its secrets. More than anything the human brain amazes us with the amount of brain activity and its extremely quick reactive responses. For years we have seen that if a person is undergoing some chronic disease, doctors ask them to get a brain scan as it is one of the ways to monitor brain activity and responses, which can give us valuable insights into how the brain works and how it can be treated. We have written this blog on “How can we monitor Brain Activity and Responses” after meticulous research and we will focus on the evolution of Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) and Electroencephalography (EEG).
How Can We Monitor Brain Activity And Responses
Brain-Computer Interface Electroencephalography which is commonly knowns as BCI EEG is a developed technology that enables a trained technician to monitor brain activity and responses by recording electrical signals that are generated by the brain constantly.
These electrical signals are recorded by electroencephalography (EEG) by placing electrodes on the target’s scalp, which in turn will measure the electrical activity of the target user’s neurons in their brain. Once these electrical signals are received by the machines they are amplified and recorded by the technician for further analysis.
The main advantage of monitoring brain activity and responses using EEGs is its relatively low cost compared to other neuroimaging techniques. The information obtained from EEG is mainly used to learn about several areas of the brain’s function, such as cognitive processes, sensory responses, and motor control.
And one of the most significant applications of the latest BCI EEG is its use in the development of neurofeedback systems. The EEG systems allow users to control their brain activity in specific ways which in turn can help people with conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
History Of BCIs
1924: In a first, Hans Berger, a German psychiatrist, performed an EEG recording for the first time which led to the identification of the alpha, beta, and delta waves in the brain.
The 1930s: EEGs were used for the first time to diagnose epilepsy in a patient as it was useful in identifying and categorising seizure patterns.
The 1960s: Invasive BCIs start getting developed for the first time and were mainly used in controlling artificial limbs or communicating with people with severe disabilities. These BCIs were mainly invasive and required physical electrodes to be implanted in the brain.
The 1980s: The first non-invasive BCIs- EEGs become increasingly popular for their vast use cases and ability to function efficiently with accessibility and higher affordability. These systems became an answer for researchers to the question, “How to monitor brain activity and response without any surgery”
In The 2010s: Continuing research and development programs started using machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence to create an advanced generation of BCIs. Much more accurate and reliable, the next-gen BCIs are now used in gaming, communication, medical rehabilitation and even human-computer interaction
Today, technology that monitors brain activity and responses are continuously advancing in all directions. Researchers and technicians around the world are exploring new avenues in the BCI EEG technology such as functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging or more commonly fMRI and Magnetoencephalography or MEG.
fMRI can now be used to study brain function in much greater detail than any technology that existed in the last decade. MEG is also being researched to increase its use in studying the dynamics of brain activity using high temporal resolution. Our realisation of the human brain’s power is increasing with every passing day and with the help of our respected researchers and scientists around the world, we can expect to see amazing growth in how can we monitor brain activity and response in the coming years.
AI orientated companies are also focusing on the field of BCI technology, with a good example being BrainAccess.ai
Uses of BCI EEG
Now that we have learnt how can we monitor brain activity and response, let us take you through some of the several use cases of the technology.
The most important purpose of the latest and most advanced BCI EEG is to help patients with neurological or motor disabilities in order to regain control over their lost movements.
For example, the latest BCI EEGs can be used to help patients with prosthetic limbs, and wheelchairs just with their thoughts by recording and analysing electrical signals from the target patient’s brain.
The gaming industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and hence has the attraction of the latest BCI EEG which is used to create a more immersive and interactive gaming experience.
With electrical signals communication with the BCI EEG machinery players can now control characters or game elements just with their thoughts.
Patients with traumatic brain injuries or strikes can be helped by EEGs to recover by retraining their brains to perform certain tasks with the help of rehabilitation.
One of the most fascinating things that can be achieved by the advanced BCI EEGs is to create next-gen communication which is closer to the world of sci-fi movies we have seen for years. Just like telepathy, individuals can now communicate with each other and other computer machinery directly through their thoughts.
While there are still many limitations to overcome, such as improving the overall accuracy of non-invasive Brain-Computer Interfaces, with the continuous advances in the technology the applicable benefits of BCI EEGs are unlimited.
To read further on BCI cap, click here and you will be unravelled by the notions of this new-age technology.
If you have read this blog properly, you must have known that the ability to monitor brain activity and responses have come a long way since its inception in the 1930s. In under a hundred years, the development of BCIs has created unimaginable opportunities for people around the world. Getting better at how can we monitor brain activity and responses can and will improve the lives of millions of people around the world.