Controlling Devices Using the Brain: Advancements in Technology


A project at Aalto University is creating a brain-computer interface using multi-locus transcranial magnetic stimulation to help immobilized patients control devices with their brain activity.

Adjunct Professor Pantelis Lioumis, leading a new project at Aalto University, aims to develop personalized technology that uses brain measurements to detect patients' intentions to move limbs and help with motor rehabilitation, by combining mTMS with Bittium Biosignals' EEG technology.

Real-time brain signals are collected by the EEG system and used as input for the mTMS system, which can electronically shift the stimulation location to rapidly and precisely activate specific areas of the brain, guided by the EEG readings.

mTMS system stimulates motor cortex for limb twitches and can control stimulation based on real-time brain signals, says Aalto's Professor Risto Ilmoniemi.

Timing and precision are crucial in stimulating the correct brain area; however, TMS can interfere with EEG signals due to its stronger electromagnetic interference.

Jukka Kinnunen from Bittium Biosignals states the need for real-time extraction of EEG information and removal of interference, while Professor Pantelis Lioumis works with Dr. Ivan Zubarev and PhD student Matilda Makkonen to develop algorithms that can differentiate between imagined movements of different limbs.

The brain-computer interface technology could potentially be used to treat other conditions related to brain activity, including depression, by delivering personalized therapy.

The multi-disciplinary Brain-Computer Interface for Automated EEG-guided Brain Stimulation project, funded by the Finnish Research Impact Foundation, involves researchers like Dr. Sabin Sathyan spending time at Aalto and Bittium Biosignals.

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