Direct Brain Interface Project

Department of Biomedical Engineering
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation


Controlling tilt/recline functions of wheelchair using BCI Operating assistive technology using BCI Setting up EEG and BCI for operation Switch-tasks controlled via BCI

The University of Michigan Direct Brain Interface (UM-DBI) project is unique among brain-computer interface (BCI) research groups in its combination of many years of BCI research and close clinical ties to assistive technology service delivery both through investigator background and sharing offices with the UM Rehabilitation Engineering Program’s (UMREP) clinical service. The UM-DBI project was co-founded by Dr. Simon Levine and Dr. Jane Huggins, the current principal investigator. The term Direct Brain Interface is intended to emphasize the function of the BCI as a direct connection between the human brain and various kinds of technologies (not just computers). With funding from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the UM-DBI project pioneered BCI research based on electrocorticogram (ECoG) from electrodes implanted inside the skull.

The UM-DBI project’s close clinical ties have fueled a desire to see the rapid advance of some form of BCI to clinical availability and an awareness of the limited nature of many of the BCI-specific applications developed for BCI operation. The UM-DBI project’s NIH and NIDRR funded research on BCIs based on electroencephalogram (EEG) has a particular goal of advancing BCI technology toward clinical availability. This research includes interfacing BCIs to commercially available assistive technologies, improving BCI response time and no-control performance, identifying features and support necessary for successful independent BCI use by people with physical impairments and identifying the design preferences and priorities of potential BCI users.


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