Grand challenges of brain computer interfaces in the years to come

Invasive and non-invasive brain machine interface research is a fast growing field, but a series of important challenges will have to be met to bring this to a level that will significantly impact patients. An increasing number of neurologists, neurosurgeon, neuroscientists, theoreticians and computer engineers have become interested in the field, and their work gives hope for significant breakthroughs. The first challenge we face is in the realm of socio-economics. It is essential to have a worldwide network of collaborations and information exchange between all disciplines, including allocation of much larger resources for the task. Mankind needs to learn how to combine the natural tendencies of individuals for personal achievements with the fact that we humans are social animals that made the best by synergistic social interactions and associations to larger teams, tribes and nations. The challenge is to create a worldwide feeling of a united mission. In this sense, we should adopt the brain strategy; none of us humans feel like “a bunch of neurons”. Yet, our brains, which make us what we are, are a collection of billions of cells that “know” how to interact and generate intelligence, emotions and creativity. This is in fact a great challenge for the world population in all aspects of science and society.

Authors: Eilon Vaadia, and Niels Birbaumer
Year of publication: 2009
Journal: Front Neurosci. 2009 Sep; 3(2): 151–154

Link to publication:


“Working memory”