The Biotic-Abiotic Interface

  • Patrick A. Tresco
  • Greg A. Gerhardt

Brain-computer interfaces (BCI), or brain-machine interfaces (BMI), are systems designed to aid humans with central nervous system disabilities, including disabilities in movement, communication, and independent control of one’s environment (Donoghue, 2002; Friehs et al., 2004; Lebedev and Nicolelis, 2006; Schwartz et al., 2006). Although these same approaches have the potential to augment normal function, as currently envisioned this new class of biomedical devices is being developed to help those with disabilities. As such, these devices may be useful for patients suffering from a variety of conditions including spinal cord injury, musculodegenerative diseases, stroke, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or other neurological or neuromuscular diseases. The intent of these devices and their associated components is to provide or supplement motor or sensory function that has been lost. The theoretical basis for such devices lies in our ability to detect neural signals and translate volitional commands into control signals for external devices including computers, robotics, or other machines. The acquisition of neural signals has traditionally occurred in the cerebral cortex, and the recording of these signals from implanted electrodes has a fairly extensive history.


Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Electrode Array Recording Electrode Neuronal Cell Body Microelectrode Array 
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© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick A. Tresco
    • Greg A. Gerhardt

      There are no affiliations available

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