The Subtleties Of BCI; BCIs Accurately Explained In Five Minutes

Abbas Salami
4 min readDec 15, 2020
Photo by Alexandre Debiève on Unsplash

Imagine a world where human and machine become one. A world where every single person can do unimaginable things, with brainpower alone. A world where humanity has the power of super intelligence implanted in their brains. What if I told you that this world we all strongly desire, could come to fruition. The Brain Computer Interface, humanity’s key to exponential evolution, is the technology all us humans deeply desire. The BCI holds unlimited possibilities, and could very well change the world for the better.So, What Is BCI?

BCI or Brain-Computer Interface is a piece of technology that reads Brain signals and translates them to computer commands. BCIs were first developed by Nicolelis in the 1990s. Nicolelis and his colleagues developed BCIs to decode brain activity in owl monkeys, they then used the results to replicate the movement in robotic arms. BCI connects us to the technology around us. They are the key to unimaginable possibilities and hold great potential.

Photo by Ilya Pavlov on Unsplash

Types of BCIs

Even though BCI is a relatively new piece of technology, there are already two prominent types of BCIs in the world. EEGs are placed on the scalp of a patient to measure the electrical activity of the brain. EEG usually measures the activity of large groups of neurons that are active at the same time. The EEG has many practical advantages; these advantages consist of low cost(352 to 543$) and quick measuring (measuring brain activity) speed. However, there are also some disadvantages concerning EEGs; these disadvantages include: low spatial precision, and it cannot record activity in deeper parts of the brain.

The other type of BCI, which is more commonly referred to as ECoG, is placed on the cerebral cortex. Because of how close ECoG is to the brain, it can receive clearer brain activity signals which makes it a must when looking to pinpoint abnormalities in the brain. In addition, ECoG consists of a high spatial and temporal scale which is quite the advantage because of its importance in defining effective sampling designs. ECoG also has a good signal to noise ratio, and it does not penetrate the blood-brain barrier. However, ECoG still has its disadvantages. Sometimes, the ECoG fails to properly record sezieurs, which can be dangerous for the patient. In addition, ECoG possesses a limited field of view (because of the technology only being able to record signals by the area of the exposed cerebral cortex) and experiences many sampling errors while recording.

Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

Applications of BCI

This revolutionary piece of technology will have many applications in the coming future. BCIs were mainly designed for the medical field. With BCI we humans can detect any forms of abnormalities in the brain, we can also essentially cure epilepsy and prevent seizures by pinpointing the weakness in the brain and performing surgery to remove it. BCIs could also prevent paralysis, and enable disabled people to walk or talk again. The possibilities for the healthcare industry are immeasurable, however, BCI can have other applications. BCI can change our day to day lives. How we learn, work and how we entertain ourselves will all be revolutionized in the coming years. People with difficulties could access knowledge or even video games that their past selves could not. By using BCIs humans could essentially download data into their minds. The possibilities are endless and BCIs will be a revolutionary technology.

Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash

BCIs will change the world. They bring unimaginable possibilities and will revolutionize the way we live. Our lives will be better, however, not all aspects of BCIs are positives. Questions like who will have access to BCIs and if our brains can get hacked all insight fear in the hearts of humanity, and might hinder the production of these world-changing technologies.