Hans Berger, a German psychiatrist,
made the first EEG recording of human brain activity and called it Elektrenkephalogramm.
Using the EEG he was also the first to describe the different waves
or rhythms which were present in the normal and abnormal brain, such as
the alpha wave rhythm (7.812–13.28 Hz), also known as "Berger's wave".
Dr. Jose Delgado, a Spanish Neuroscientist at Yale University, implanted a device that he called the "stimoceiver" into the cortex of a bull in Cordoba. He could push a button on his radio transmitter and the raging bull instantly stopped raging and stood still (CNN report on YouTube). Here a well written article about Dr. Delagados life and work.
Jacques J. Vidal, a Belgium researcher at the University of California, coined the term “Brain-Computer Interface”. In his report Vidal describes BCIs as “utilizing the brain signals in a man-computer dialogue” and “as a mean of control over external processes such as computers or prosthetic devices”.
Within the 1980ies scientests around
Apostolos Georgopoulos at Johns Hopkins University conducted experiments to read signals from groups of brain cells, process them and conduct predictions what certain brain-action-potential could mean. For example, see neurons firing in a monkeys motorical cortex and then tell what limb the monkey was wanting to move.
Scientists Farwell and Donchin successfully test a BCI for spelling letters based on Event-Related Potentials (ERP).
A 6*6 grid of letters and digits is displayed on a computer screen, each flashing randomly. The user is asked to silently count the flashes of the letter she/he wants to select.
The correct letter is found by syncronizing the counting speed read out through an EEG with the flashings of the P300-speller.
Babak Taheri, at University of California, Davis shows these new electrodes capable to measure brain activity. The advantages of such
(1) no electrolyte used,
(2) no skin preparation,
(3) significantly reduced sensor size, and (4) compatibility with EEG monitoring systems.
The first international BCI meeting takes place at Rensselaerville Institute, New York with 50 delegates and 24 labs participating. This marks the beginning of the bloom of this research field.
William H. Dobelle implants a BCI into blind patient "Jerry's"
head and restores limited sight. The system feeds images from a digital camera to a belt-mounted signal processor into the
Starting 2002 Dobelle offers this method commecially. Blind Jens Naumann drives a car around a parking ground using this device.
Thomas DeMarse, professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Florida, cultures 25,000 neurons to
fly a fighter jet aircraft simulator. In the experiment the neurons are taken from
a mouse's brain cultured in a petri dish. The living neural network rapidly
begins to reconnect itselves. To control the pitch and yaw functions of the simulator a grid of 60 electrodes is placed underneath the cells.
Electrocorticography (ECoG) technologies trialled in humans by Eric Leuthardt and Daniel Moran from Washington University enable a teenage boy to play Space Invaders with
ECoG measures the electrical activity of the brain from above the cortex, beneath the dura mater. ECoG are less invasive than implants inside the cortex but deliver better signal than electrodes that measure non-invasive from outside the skull.
Around this time two brilliant papers reseraching about how BCI's will affect Computer Games and VR. The first paper is showing reserach of different universities on VR and virtual game pads.
The second paper asks the question why a healthy individual would want to use a BCI and applying knowledge from Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) to the design of BCI for games.
The BCI society was created to
“to foster research and development leading to technologies that enable people to interact with the world through brain signals”.