Brain Computer Interface

Children living with conditions such as a stroke, spinal cord injury or cerebral palsy can suffer from severe limitations in their mobility and capacity to communicate. Fully aware and capable but unable to walk, these children are trapped in their bodies. Treatment options are limited.

Building on the expertise already assembled at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, our hospital experts are among only a few in the world conducting BCI research for children.

These systems have the potential to engage children – many of whom otherwise cannot communicate – in learning and play. The software and technology can allow children to operate various devices simply by thought via a non-invasive electroencephalogram (EEG) that captures electrical activity of the brain.

Modern BCI systems can recognize changes in thought patterns and transmit them to control devices such as computer cursors to communication devices to TV remotes and beyond. The overall goal is to find new ways for children with severely limited movement and speech but intact intellect to express themselves, interact with their environment, and gain independence.

BCI could open up a whole new world of opportunity for “locked in” young people to live up to their full potential. With your support, a novel research program will be established to explore the feasibility and effectiveness of BCI to help children with severe neurological disability find more independence and higher quality of life. Our specialists will gain the knowledge and expertise to help unlock the world for otherwise silent children to engage with their family – and their world – in a new and exciting way.