Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders


Date of this Version



Published in D.D. Schmorrow and C.M. Fidopiastis, eds., AC 2016: Foundations of Augmented Cognition: Neuroergonomics and Operational Neuroscience (2016), Part I, LNAI 9743, pp 14–25.

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-39955-3_2


Copyright © 2016 Springer International Publishing Switzerland. Used by permission.


Brain-computer interfaces (BCI) as assistive devices are designed to provide access to communication, navigation, locomotion and environmental interaction to individuals with severe motor impairment. In the present paper, we discuss two approaches to communication using a non-invasive BCI via recording of neurological activity related to motor imagery. The first approach uses modulations of the sensorimotor rhythm related to limb movement imagery to continuously modify the output of an artificial speech synthesizer. The second approach detects event-related changes to neurological activity during single trial motor imagery attempts to control a commercial augmentative and alternative communication device. These two approaches represent two extremes for BCI-based communication ranging from simple, “button-click” operation of a speech generating communication device to continuous modulation of an acoustic output speech synthesizer. The goal of developing along a continuum is to facilitate adoption and use of communication BCIs to a heterogeneous target user population.