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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/H012958/1
Title: Intelligent Pre- and Post-Processing Algorithms for Autonomous Multiclass Brain-Computer Interfaces
Principal Investigator: Coyle, Professor DH
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
National Rehabilitation Hospital
Department: Sch of Computing & Intelligent Systems
Organisation: University of Ulster
Scheme: First Grant - Revised 2009
Starts: 31 March 2010 Ends: 30 March 2012 Value (£): 101,963
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Digital Signal Processing Med.Instrument.Device& Equip.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
14 Jul 2009 ICT Prioritisation Panel (July 09) Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
BCI technology can provide a communication pathway from the brain to the computer which does not rely on neuromuscular control therefore there are many potential beneficiaries of the technology such as those who require an alternative means of communication/control because of neuromuscular deficiencies due to disease, spinal cord injury or brain damage. Being able to offer these people an alternative means of communication through BCI could have a significant impact on their quality of life. There are other applications of BCI, yet to be fully proven and exploited, such as neurofeedback for stroke rehabilitation, the treatment of attention deficit disorder and epileptic seizure prediction, awareness detection for long distance drivers and personalised computing environment adaptation. BCI is also emerging as an augmentative technology in computer games and virtual reality technology and in numerous military applications.Dr. Coyle has been developing BCI technology at the Intelligent Systems Research Centre for the past 6 years and has made substantive progress in developing sophisticated signal processing tools which used to extract the information from a person's brainwaves i.e., their electroencephalogram (EEG) and translate this information into useful control signal for BCI control. To facilitate the advancement of the BCI under development by Dr. Coyle, a strategic partnership with the National Rehabilitation Hospital of Ireland has been agreed to trial BCI-based assistive technology for alternative communication, control and mobility. The research underway is at a stage where extensive clinical trials are required to validate and emphasise the importance of the R&D to date and to develop innovative tools and products for BCI related applications. The NRH is a very suitable institution on the island of Ireland to collaborate with in this endeavour, providing access to and facilitating trials with disabled patients. The NRH is the only in-patient rehabilitation hospital for the treatment of spinal cord injury and head trauma in the Rep. of Ireland and has extensive experience in working with spinal cord injury patients, stroke and head trauma patients and carrying out clinical trials with assistive technologies.With the NRH commitment to facilitating disabled participant trials, Dr. Coyle can focus on BCI technology developments and will be able to thoroughly test these developments in a clinical setting, with the aim of bringing BCI technology into the home. The first phase of the project will involve consolidating and refining Dr. Coyle's research to date in addition to preliminary trials where a number of BCI-specific applications, such as BCI controlled games and robot interfaces, will also be tested. At the end of phase 1 a BCI which can be easily setup, even by a layperson, with automated signal processing and calibration tools will be produced. The second phase of the project will involve extensive trials with healthy subjects to refine protocol, improve robustness and thoroughly validate the development before trials with disabled participants take place in phase 3 In summary, the aims of the two year project are - to produce an accurate and fast BCI system which can be easily configured with automated and advanced signal processing tools. - to develop useful application and make BCI usable and accessible to individuals in most need of the technology- to thoroughly evaluate BCI technology on at least 20 healthy and 10 disabled individuals, with trials carried out over a extended period to verify system robustness and stability.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.ulst.ac.uk