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Surg Neurol Int. 2011;2:79. doi: 10.4103/2152-7806.82086. Epub 2011 Jun 15.

The brain and computer: The neurosurgical interface.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


Neurosurgery has always had a strong interest in innovating new technologies to improve neurological function and quality of life. Now, novel interventions that modulate central nervous system activity at the nanoparticle, molecular, genetic, cellular, and network level all seem to be on the horizon. Advances in biomedical engineering, including imaging techniques, sensor technologies, bio-signal analyses and classification, and prosthetics, have particularly accelerated the development brain-computer interfaces (BCI). Clinical translation of BCI technology will require multidisciplinary collaboration and effort to develop all necessary components, including advanced sensor technologies, sophisticated and real-time signal analyses and classifications, and complex effector technologies. Although the field has primarily been driven by basic scientists, neurosurgeons need to play a critical role in the further development of each component of these technologies because of our unique access to the awake and behaving human brain, our perspective with respect to the practicalities of technology implementation in the clinical setting, and because of our historical commitment to improving neurological function and quality-of-life. The current state of BCI research, the challenges, and the critical role that neurosurgeons must play in BCI development are briefly reviewed to advocate for increased neurosurgical involvement and commitment to this emerging translational field.


Biomedical engineering; brain mapping; brain-computer interface; electrocorticography; functional neurosurgery; signal processing

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