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The impact of brain-computer interfaces for education and research

Can we communicate with computers through our brains in the future? The technology that makes this possible, brain-computer interface, could change people's lives enormously. In the white paper below, we explore the technology, developments and different applications of brain-computer interfaces and their potential impact on education and research.

A brain-computer interface (BCI) is a technology that enables communication between a human's brain and a device. BCIs collect and analyse brain signals and translate these signals into commands that control an external device. This can be done with non-invasive (placed on the skin) techniques such as EEGs, and invasive (surgically placed) brain implants. Both techniques have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Applications of BCIs

The applications of BCIs are wide and diverse. For example, Neuralink, Elon Musk's company, achieved a breakthrough in 2024 by implanting a chip in the brain of a paralysed patient. This patient can now play video games and post messages with his mind via BCIs.

In education, BCIs can be used to monitor students' alertness and provide real-time feedback to improve the learning process. There are also consumer applications, such as devices that support meditation and stress management.

Concerns of BCIs

The future of BCIs looks promising. These technologies can improve quality of life and human performance, making a big impact in various fields, including education and research. However, the use of BCIs also raises ethical and privacy issues that need to be carefully considered. Here, it is necessary to encourage transparency and responsible use of BCIs.

About the whitepaper

The SURF whitepaper 'Brain-computer interfaces for education and research?' gives you an in-depth insight into the technology, history and possibilities of BCIs. You will also discover different scenarios for the application of BCIs in the future.

Whitepaper introductie BCI

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