BCIs That Use Brain Metabolic Signals

Ranganatha Sitaram, Sangkyun Lee, Niels Birbaumer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Most brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) currently under development use the brain's electrical signals. Nevertheless, nonelectrical metabolic signals also have potential for use in BCI development. Two methods currently available for measuring brain metabolic activity that are of greatest immediate interest for BCI development are: functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). fNIRS has the advantages of being noninvasive and inexpensive. fMRI has the advantages of being noninvasive and providing very high spatial resolution. This chapter focuses on BCIs based on fNIRS and fMRI methods. It reviews the fundamental principles underlying their use, the factors important in their use for BCIs, the kinds of BCI applications that are most promising, and possible future directions and challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBrain-Computer Interfaces: Principles and Practice
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780199932689, 9780195388855
Publication statusPublished - May 24 2012


  • Brain signals
  • Brain-computer interfaces
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Functional near-infrared spectroscopy
  • Metabolic activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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