Evaluating Control of Commercial AAC Devices via Brain-Computer Interface by Individuals with Neuromotor Deficits
The long-term goal of this research is to translate research advances in brain-computer (BCI) technology to clinical practice by informing development of new clinical assessment protocols, intervention practices and evaluation of outcomes for augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices. Many users of high-tech AAC control their devices through overt motor commands, including eye-gaze, gross limb movement and other minor muscle control. Individuals with locked-in syndrome and severe forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) often do not possess these seemingly rudimentary skills, which can be a barrier to operating AAC devices. BCIs have the potential to overcome these barriers through direct brain-based control of communication devices for individuals with severe neuromotor impairment. Another long-term goal is to obtain the support from manufacturers of commercial AAC systems to help promote the adoption of BCI for input access to AAC systems, and to create a sustainable future for BCIs in AAC practice.