Brain–Computer Interfaces for Augmentative and Alternative Communication: Separating the Reality From the Hype Brain–computer interfaces (BCIs) are topics of great interest to people who need augmentative and alternative communication. Although media reports focus on the promise of BCI to provide communication without physical movement, such reports often contain few details to critically evaluate whether BCIs are yet sufficiently developed for real-world communication. This ... Article
Article  |   March 14, 2018
Brain–Computer Interfaces for Augmentative and Alternative Communication: Separating the Reality From the Hype
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jane E. Huggins
    University of Michigan Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ann Arbor
    University of Michigan Department of Biomedical Engineering, Ann Arbor
    University of Michigan Neuroscience Graduate Program, Ann Arbor
  • Thomas Kovacs
    University of Pittsburgh Department of Communication Science & Disorders, PA
  • Disclosures
    Disclosures ×
  • Financial: Jane E. Huggins has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Thomas Kovacs has no relevant financial interests to disclose.
    Financial: Jane E. Huggins has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Thomas Kovacs has no relevant financial interests to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial: Jane E. Huggins has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. Thomas Kovacs has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.
    Nonfinancial: Jane E. Huggins has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. Thomas Kovacs has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.×
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Part 1
Article   |   March 14, 2018
Brain–Computer Interfaces for Augmentative and Alternative Communication: Separating the Reality From the Hype
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, March 2018, Vol. 3, 13-23. doi:10.1044/persp3.SIG12.13
History: Received August 22, 2017 , Revised November 13, 2017 , Accepted January 2, 2018
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, March 2018, Vol. 3, 13-23. doi:10.1044/persp3.SIG12.13
History: Received August 22, 2017; Revised November 13, 2017; Accepted January 2, 2018

Brain–computer interfaces (BCIs) are topics of great interest to people who need augmentative and alternative communication. Although media reports focus on the promise of BCI to provide communication without physical movement, such reports often contain few details to critically evaluate whether BCIs are yet sufficiently developed for real-world communication. This article provides an introduction to the breadth of BCIs designed for communication. We examine the reasons for misconceptions about BCIs and discuss the functions BCIs can currently provide. Finally, we summarize important factors to consider when evaluating BCI as a communication element for individuals with complex communication needs.

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