Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) allow people to communicate with brain signals (e.g., EEG) rather than muscles. BCIs can enable individuals without neuromuscular control (e.g., those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) to move cursors, select letters or icons, or even operate prostheses. Facilitated and encouraged by a new understanding of brain function, by an appreciation of the needs and potentials of people with disabilities, and by the advent of new and powerful low-cost computers, BCI research has rapidly expanded over the last decade and especially over the last four years. Effective BCI research requires interdisciplinary interactions between neuroscience, psychology, engineering, mathematics, computer science, and clinical rehabilitation. No standard venue brings these groups together. In recognition of this and of the growth in BCI research, the NIH sponsored and the Wadsworth Center organized three successful international BCI meetings. These meetings brought together researchers from all relevant disciplines from all over the world. Foundation support allowed many graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to participate, and a total of 64 peer-reviewed papers were published in dedicated issues of the IEEE Trans on Rehab Eng and the IEEE Trans on Neural Signals and Rehab Eng. In large part due to the interdisciplinary interactions fostered by these meetings, BCI research continues to grow rapidly. This proposal seeks core funding for the Fourth International BCI Meeting, May 31-June 4, 2010. The first day will provide concise updates from many BCI labs. The second and third days will be devoted to parallel workshops addressing specific areas of BCI research that will culminate, on the third day, in a plenary session comprised of summary presentations from each workshop. The workshops will cover six topics critical for research and development: signals and recording methods;signal processing;software and hardware;applications for communication and control;translational research;and new user groups. Evenings will offer plenary speakers, poster sessions, BCI demonstrations, and an augmentative communication users'forum. The meeting will end with an informal breakfast plenary session. Foundation support contingent on the success of this proposal will further fund students and fellows. The Journal of Neural Engineering has indicated strong interest in publishing this proposal. The Fourth International BCI Meeting will focus on important translational issues, the most up-to-date technology, and the latest thinking from BCI and closely allied researchers. It will foster interdisciplinary interactions and involve many students and postdoctoral fellows. Thus, this meeting will contain all the ingredients necessary to rapidly push the entire BCI field forward towards the goal of developing useful and usable BCI devices for individuals who lack communication and control options.

Public Health Relevance

Brain-computer interface (BCI) research is beginning to provide people with severe motor disabilities access to communication and control devices that are both useful and practical. The Fourth International Meeting brings together active BCI researchers from all of the relevant disciples to share both in person, and in peer-review papers, the latest in BCI research and technology in order to move that purpose forward.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Conference (R13)
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Communication Disorders Review Committee (CDRC)
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Miller, Roger
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Wadsworth Center
United States
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