Evolution of brain-computer interface: action potentials, local field potentials and electrocorticograms.

Research paper by Daniel D Moran

Indexed on: 19 Oct '10Published on: 19 Oct '10Published in: Current Opinion in Neurobiology


Brain computer interfaces (BCIs) were originally developed to give severely motor impaired patients a method to communicate and interact with their environment. Initially most BCI systems were based on non-invasive electroencephalographic recordings from the surface of the scalp. To increase control speed, accuracy and complexity, researchers began utilizing invasive recording modalities. BCIs using multi-single unit action potentials have provided elegant multi-dimensional control of both computer cursors and robotic limbs in the last few years. However, long-term stability issues with single-unit arrays has lead researchers to investigate other invasive recording modalities such as high-frequency local field potentials and electrocorticography (ECoG). Although ECoG originally evolved as a replacement for single-unit BCIs, it has come full circle to become an effective tool for studying cortical neurophysiology.