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i want to know how to build a brain computer interface? Answered

 hello instructables i wanted to know how do you build brain computer interface like the brain gate to control the computer with your brain. but im having trouble fingering out how to receive the signals from the brain so i need material and a circuit does any one no how i could do this. and i want to use the arduino to comunicte between the computer and the circuit.

11 Replies

DELETED_GuardianFoxBest Answer (author)2010-04-23

This is still very much an advanced project.  Most projects working with thought-based human interface are still in their early infancy right now. 

That said, there are two key ingredients at the heart it all:

1.  EEG readings, or any other reading of the activity of the brain.  These can be simplified or very complex, and which method is used depends on the nature of the project.  The popular Force Trainer toy just monitors the overall level of activity, getting an idea of whether you are concentrating or relaxing, and nothing more.

2.  Training.  Many of the very simple uses (Force Trainer) will only require a few minutes of practice, but a complicated system of commands requires training both the device and the user.  Complex systems could easily take months to master.

Ok, your first stops should be:
http://openeeg.sourceforge.net/doc/  - Open EEG project.  It may be full of new-agey pseudoscience, but it does have a lot of good ideas and resources on how to build an EEG machine of your own.

http://pceeg.sourceforge.net/ - An arduino-based EEG project.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_consumer_brain-computer_interface_devices  - A brief round-up of some consumer devices.  I highly suggest you click around and see what each can do and how it's being done.

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Maniacy (author)2011-03-29

Hi there
You have three options: OpenEEG (a bit of a project but not too hard, not cheap), commercial headset EMOTIV (not too good signal quality for the very high price) or Arduino/Mindflex combination.
If you want to buy the OpenEEG I can make an instructable for you, since I have a 6 channel device myself and it can use a little tune up anyways.
If you want to go ahead and play, I recommend the Mindflex.

EEG is more that a diagnostic medical tool, it's also used in a many branches of scientific research like cognitive psychology of neuroscience. When using it for control or gaming, you could use one of several methods:
- just use alpha wave band power which correlates somehow with relaxation (as it is the so called 'idle rhythm', probably inhibiting the corresponding cortical areas)
- use simple thresholds in band power over the motor areas (high beta values (mu rhythm) on each side of the head correspond to imagined movement on the contralateral side of the body), you need 2 channels for that, but you also get 2 'directions' of decision making
- use more complicated machine learning stuff, not that hard anymore if you have the proper development tools but still something more advanced

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dsalehuddin (author)Maniacy2011-08-08

Hi Maniacy,

I have OpenEEG and arduino stuff plus external optocoupler.
Could you share with me about the procedure or assembly between these stuffs. Maybe, about the firmware, i've got a lil bit confuse with it.

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holicxii (author)Maniacy2011-04-06

I've been thinking about taking on a EEG project as well. If you could, it would be amazing if you made an instructable!

Thanks in advance.

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kelseymh (author)2010-04-23

Dremel.  1/16" bit.  30 gauge wire.  Maybe a bit o' novocaine.  Lots and lots of alligator clips.

Have a party!

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amando96 (author)kelseymh2010-04-24

 hahahahaha, you sir, know about this stuff.

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kelseymh (author)amando962010-04-24

Well, once GuardianFox gave the great straight-up answer, I kind of had to go in a more "interesting" direction :-)

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gmoon (author)kelseymh2010-04-24


Ya know, considering the number of "imperfect" answers (given that the OP is sometimes the least qualified to pick the best), there should also be a way for everyone else to rate the answers.

A "community favorite," if you will...

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steveastrouk (author)2010-04-24

The serious, like DARPA funded, pros use SQUIDs  (superconducting quantum interference devices), which use Josephson junctions to measure the incredible tiny fields generated by currents in your brain.

The consumer grade things are low-cost EEGs as everyone else has said, but as Lemonie has alluded, there are research teams working with DIRECT neural stimulation, with electrode matrices fabricated in silicon and other materials. The direct stuff is for prosthetic limb operation, and optic nerves stimulation. The optic stuff is amazingly advanced already.

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lemonie (author)2010-04-23

You need to insert electrodes into tour brain, through holes drilled into your skull. Do you feel like asking a close family-member to do that? Or do you have a vast amount of cash to spend on someone who has non-invasive ideas?
This isn't easy or cheap.


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