Auditory brain-computer interfacing for successful ageing

Karl McCreadie, DH Coyle, G Prasad

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Electroencephalographic (EEG) based brain-computer interfaces (BCI) can offer movement free control,and communication and rehabilitation methodsfor the physically impaired. Physical impairment can occur as a result of spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury or neurodegenerative disease such as stroke and other conditions which are often associated with aging. Many of such conditions result in ocular deficiencies rendering traditional BCIs which are normally reliant on visual feedback incompatible with users who are visually impaired. BCI has been used in stroke rehabilitation [1] , for assessing those in a minimally conscious state (MCS) [2], tested with high level spinal cord injury in all age groups [3] highlighting the need for a non-vision reliant BCI. Training often includes games to maintain interest and foster active mental engagement over multiple sessions with an increasing focus on games to improve memory/attention. These are typically aimed at an aging gaming population, with estimates of 29% for gamers over 50 in 2011 [2] and results from another study [3] suggesting that gaming has a positive effect towards successful ageing. The BCI described here involves imagination of hand movement to alter brain activity in sensorimotor areas. Modulation of sensorimotor rhythms can provide a binary communication channel and continuous control signal that can be used to determine a users intent without movement. To control a sensorimotor-computer interface users learn from feedback. Traditionally this was through visual feedback. Here we describe a BCI which has no requirement for visual acuity and only involves auditory feedback, the aim of which is to make BCI accessible to a wider group os users. The results to date show auditory BCI can be as effective as visual BCI.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2013
Event5th Annual Translational Medicine Conference - Derry
Duration: 1 Jan 2013 → …


Conference5th Annual Translational Medicine Conference
Period1/01/13 → …


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