Brain Computer Interfaces for Assisted Communication in Paralysis and Quality of Life

Ujwal Chaudhary*, Bankim Subhash Chander, Avi Ohry, Andres Jaramillo-Gonzalez, Dorothée Lulé, Niels Birbaumer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The rapid evolution of Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) technology and the exponential growth of BCI literature during the past 20 years is a consequence of increasing computational power and the achievements of statistical learning theory and machine learning since the 1960s. Despite this rapid scientific progress, the range of successful clinical and societal applications remained limited, with some notable exceptions in the rehabilitation of chronic stroke and first steps towards BCI-based assisted verbal communication in paralysis. In this contribution, we focus on the effects of noninvasive and invasive BCI-based verbal communication on the quality of life (QoL) of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in the locked-in state (LIS) and the completely locked-in state (CLIS). Despite a substantial lack of replicated scientific data, this paper complements the existing methodological knowledge and focuses future investigators' attention on (1) Social determinants of QoL and (2) Brain reorganization and behavior. While it is not documented in controlled studies that the good QoL in these patients is a consequence of BCI-based neurorehabilitation, the proposed determinants of QoL might become the theoretical background needed to develop clinically more useful BCI systems and to evaluate the effects of BCI-based communication on QoL for advanced ALS patients and other forms of severe paralysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2130003
JournalInternational Journal of Neural Systems
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • Brain-computer-interfaces
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • brain reorganization
  • locked-in state
  • quality of life


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