SICCAU: Brain interaction system for people with locked-in syndrome

The development of a BCI system deals with an interface between the human brain and an artificial system, such as a computer. In recent years there has been a lot of interest in achieving this goal, being one of its most important applications in the field of medicine and more specifically in rehabilitation, helping to establish a communication and control channel for those individuals with significant deficiencies in its motor functions.

BCI Scheme

A brain computer interface is based mainly on the analysis of electroencephalographic (EEG) signals captured during some type of mental activity in order to control an external component. The EEG activity includes a variety of different rhythms identified by their frequency, location and other aspects related to brain function that make the EEG signal extremely complex. However, numerous studies show the ability of people to control certain characteristics of EEG. EEG activity. If one could quickly learn to control these characteristics, the EEG signal could present a new brain function; it could become a new exit signal that would allow transmitting a person’s wishes to an external component.

The UMA-BCI group has been working in the research and development of BCI systems for more than 15 years. With one of the latest projects (LiCOM), the UMA-BCI Speller tool was developed, an open access application that allows you to configure a BCI-speller based on the P300 potential of the EEG. The SICCAU project aims to continue with part of the objectives achieved in the LICOM project. The UMA-BCI Speller application allows to investigate new keyboard configurations until now under-exploited; however, unlike other existing projects in this field, the purpose of SICCAU is to provide concrete solutions that facilitate communication and control to patients, some of which suffer a Locked-in syndrome (LIS) and others even without oculomotor control. These people are the main protagonists of this project.

The research trajectory of the UMA-BCI group in relation to the Brain-Computer Interfaces is reflected by the participation in several research projects: the INTENTIO project (2003-2005), the development of an internal project within the INTUITION network of excellence (2004 -2008), the BRAINS project (2008-2012), INCADI (2012-2015), LiCOM (2016-2019), SICSE (2018-2019) and SICCAU (2019-2021).

Project SICCAU. Length: January 2019 – December 2021

Project supported by the Spanish Minstry of Science, Innovation and Universities (Reference: RTI2018-100912-B-I00 ) and by the European fund ERDF

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Tags: Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI), Virtual keyboard, Speller, Locked-in Syndrome