Stroke Therapy Project Wins BCI Award

Winning team member Kai Keng Ang (left) stands alongside Christoph Guger, g.tec’s CEO.

Lawrence Lloyd

July 1, 2010

1 Min Read
Stroke Therapy Project Wins BCI Award

Although telepathy appears to be at least a few millennia down the road, an increasing number of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) have exciting new medical applications. The 2010 winner of the annual Brain-Computer Interface Research Award was A*STAR, a science and technology research agency in Singapore, which submitted a robotic, motor imagery–based BCI for stroke rehabilitation. The awards ceremony was held June 3, 2010, in Monterey Bay, CA.

The winning project demonstrated that a motor imagery–based BCI could be used for rehabilitation after stroke in combination with a robotic arm triggered by the BCI. Each year, there are about 15 million new stroke victims worldwide, with 30% of stroke survivors needing various rehabilitations. “The [winning project] gives evidence for an enhanced effectiveness of the new training method compared to the standard robotic training method for patients with upper limb weakness and loss of hand functions,” said award sponsor Guger Technologies OG (g.tec). The Graz, Austria–based company provides BCI research equipment.

“Achieving our goal to make BCIs more powerful, more intelligent, and more applicable for patients’ and caregivers’ everyday lives relies on a creative research community worldwide,” says Christoph Guger, g.tec’s CEO.

Unsurprisingly, many of the projects submitted had neurotechnology applications. A team at Carnegie Mellon University submitted an operant conditioning system to identify independent, volitionally controllable patterns of neural activity. Another system involved a brain-actuated Google search using motion-onset VEPs (visually evoked potential, an electrical measurement recorded by the human nervous system).

This year marked the first international competition for the award, which includes $3000 (USD) for the winner.

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