Brain-computer interfaces (BCI) register changes in brain activity and utilize this to control computers. The most widely used method is based on registration of electrical signals from the cerebral cortex using extracranially placed electrodes also called electroencephalography (EEG). The features extracted from the EEG may, besides controlling the computer, also be fed back to the patient for instance as visual input. This facilitates a learning process. BCI allow us to utilize brain activity in the rehabilitation of patients after stroke. The activity of the cerebral cortex varies with the type of movement we imagine, and by letting the patient know the type of brain activity best associated with the intended movement the rehabilitation process may be faster and more efficient. The focus of BCI utilization in medicine has changed in recent years. While we previously focused on devices facilitating communication in the rather few patients with locked-in syndrome, much interest is now devoted to the therapeutic use of BCI in rehabilitation. For this latter group of patients, the device is not intended to be a lifelong assistive companion but rather a 'teacher' during the rehabilitation period.
Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience, 2013, Vol 32, p. 95-100