The Thought Translation Device: Communication by means of EEG self-regulation for locked-in patients

Andrea Kübler, Niels Birbaumer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this chapter psychophysiological training devices to modify ongoing behavior or to teach a new behavioral response are introduced; such devices are referred to as behavioral neuroprostheses or brain-computer interfaces. The first part of the chapter describes how these devices are used to treat chronic pain, tinnitus, Parkinson's disease, and epilepsy. The second part explains how a braincomputer interface can be used to maintain or reinstall communication in patients with severe motor impairment. The electrical activity of the brain is used as an input siqnal carrying messages from the user's brain to a computer that translates this electrical activity into an output signal suitable for controlling an application adapted to the individual patient's needs. Patients undergo an extended training procedure to learn how to self-regulate their slow cortical potentials of the brain including operant learning, shaping of behavior and online feedback of the slow cortical potential amplitude of the brain. Self-regulation of the slow cortical potential amplitude is then used to control a cursor on a computer screen with which letters or words can be selected in a language support program.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnabling Technologies in Rehabilitation: Body Image and Body Function
PublisherElsevier Ltd
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9780702036477, 9780443072475
Publication statusPublished - Dec 15 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Health Professions(all)


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