Chapter 10 On the Use of Brain-Computer Interfaces Outside Scientific Laboratories. Toward an Application in Domotic Environments

F. Babiloni, F. Cincotti, M. Marciani, S. Salinari, L. Astolfi, F. Aloise, F. De Vico Fallani, D. Mattia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Brain-computer interface (BCI) applications were initially designed to provide final users with special capabilities, like writing letters on a screen, to communicate with others without muscular effort. In these last few years, the BCI scientific community has been interested in bringing BCI applications outside the scientific laboratories, initially to provide useful applications in everyday life and in future in more complex environments, such as space. Recently, we implemented a control of a domestic environment realized with BCI applications. In the present chapter, we analyze the methodological approach employed to allow the interaction between subjects and domestic devices by use of noninvasive EEG recordings. In particular, we analyze whether the cortical activity estimated from noninvasive EEG recordings could be useful in detecting mental states related to imagined limb movements. We estimate cortical activity from high-resolution EEG recordings in a group of healthy subjects by using realistic head models. Such cortical activity was estimated in a region of interest associated with the subjects' Brodmann areas by use of depth-weighted minimum norm solutions. Results show that the use of the estimated cortical activity instead of unprocessed EEG improves the recognition of the mental states associated with limb-movement imagination in a group of healthy subjects. The BCI methodology here presented has been used in a group of disabled patients to give them suitable control of several electronic devices disposed in a three-room environment devoted to neurorehabilitation. Four of six patients were able to control several electronic devices in the domotic context with the BCI system, with a percentage of correct responses averaging over 63%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-146
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Review of Neurobiology
Publication statusPublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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