Brain-Computer Interface Lab

The Brain-Computer Interface lab uses real-time digital signal processing, machine learning, and cognitive neuroscience techniques to study the interface between humans and machines. We conduct studies of healthy participants in order to learn how to improve this interface. Our goal is to create a new generation of Brain-Computer Interfaces that are more intuitive and usable.


PROJECTS

creating a BRAIN-COMPUTER INTERFACE FOR KIDS

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In recent years, the engineering field has made great strides towards creating a system which translates natural brain activity into computer commands. These systems are called Brain Computer Interfaces, or BCI. We are inviting children (between the ages of 9 and 11) to be part of this exciting discovery process by participating in one the studies currently being conducted by the Brain Computer Interface Lab at the University of Illinois. The specific focus of our project is on uncovering how children interact with a BCI , and how they enjoy using the system.

If you and your child decide you’d like to take part in this research, we will invite you to our lab for the study. While here, your child will be using our BCI system to control a computer application. The programs we ask children to use are all age appropriate and are designed to understand how engagement and attention impacts experience with our system. In our experience, children enjoy participating in our studies.

Participation in the research will involve one session lasting up-to approximately 1.5 hours. Participation is safe, voluntary and confidential. In appreciation for their time, children will be rewarded with a small gift (e.g., a pencil, a t-shirt).

For more information or if you are interested in participating, please send an email to Jessica Mullins (jmullin2@illinois.edu ) and with your name, phone number, and a message that tells us you are interested in the "Kids & Brain Machine Interface Study.”

This research work is approved by the Institutional Review Board of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Frequently asked questions

WHAT IS A BRAIN-COMPUTER INTERFACE (BCI)?

A BCI is a system that translates natural brain activity into computer commands. Our system uses electroencephalography to record and track brainwaves via small metal discs/sensors places on the head.

WHAT ARE THE SENSORS LIKE?

The type of sensors used during these experiments will be traditional EEG/EMG electrodes. EEG/EMG is a safe, non-invasive system of monitoring brain activity by measuring from sensors on the scalp. The sensor cap is made up with small silver electrodes embedded in an elastic mesh. The electrodes are flat and lay on top of the head. A conductive gel is used to allow better contact with the scalp.

WHAT ARE SOME COMMON APPLICATIONS OF BCIS?

BCIs have are being developed to allow people to perform text entry, control motor vehicles, and for video games. Here is one example of a BCI used to for a checkers game:


get involved

Interested in getting involved with our work, being a participant in one of our studies or just want to find out more about our research? Send us an email, or use the form below to contact us!

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