Before starting this post, I would like to share with you my own definition of Brain Computer interfaces (BCI):
A system that uses some type of brain signal, analyzes this signal to extract features and then uses some type of classifier to take a decision on these features.
As you can see, this definition is very broad and I am sure some BCI purists will not like it. In any case, this definition of BCI includes a lot of systems, not only traditional EEG based BCI. For instance we can use an MRI, MEG or even deep brain electrodes as brain signal acquisition systems. We can also not work in real-time. For instance, a system that goes through your brain activity and is able to detect if you are suffering from a neurologic condition, would be a BCI to me. Also biometric, emotion detection and workload monitoring systems would be BCI’s as long as they work with brain signals. So please keep this in mind when talking about BCI. It includes much more than what we think!
The second edition of the Indian BCI and neurostimulation workshop took place last October in Bangalore. It was a two-day meeting that gathered over 60 neuroscientists from all around India. It was a real pleasure to see how neuroscience research in India is growing so fast and I am sure that very good publications and results will soon be published from Indian research groups.
The workshop was organized by Neuroelectrics together with ITIE, our local indian partner. Most of the talks were given by Dr. Alejandro Riera, but in this edition several Indian groups presented and shared their research. Just to mention a few:
- Dr. Mahesh and Ms. Anand from Saint John Research Institute (Bangalore) presented their results with Event Related Potential using Enobio. They extracted Miss Match Negativity (MMN) and P300 potentials from children and infants to study malnourishment, among other fields.
- Mr. Sandeep Bodda from the Computational Neuroscience Lab, Amrita School of Biotechnology, Kerala presented his interesting work with a robotic arm controled by a motor cortex BCI. They just started to use Enobio 32 channels and hopefully will start to get very good results soon.
- Mr. Sanjeev Kubakaddi from ITIE Knowledge Solutions (Bangalore) presented his company and their research projects. He also did a very impressive demo of a wireless and portable ECG/EMG device that is able to transmit the data via RF to a computer located several kilometers from the subject.
- Mr Appaji from Dept. of Medical Electronics of BMS College of Engineering Bangalore presented, in a very interesting talk, several ideas, projects and ethical issues related with Brain Computer Interfaces research, such as workload, stress and drowsiness monitoring.
Before this workshop, I had the chance to organize three other workshops in Malaysia, where I was also impressed by the interest in neuroscience. Very strong research groups are working hard in this interesting and growing field. Together with Miss Li Hun Tan from H&A Medical Supply we visited:
- –Universiti Teknikal Malaysia in Melaka
- –Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia in Kota Bharu
- –Universiti Teknologi Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur
Neuroscience in Asia is stepping strong and I am very happy to collaborate with so many different research centers. I am looking forward to continue working with them in this very interesting field. Who knows, maybe it is time to move to Asia! Thank you for reading and see you next time!