Conferences - Seminars

  Tuesday 13 March 2018 12:15 - 13:15 Campus Biotech, H8 Auditorium D

Brain-Computer Interfacing when all else fails

By Prof Nick F Ramsey, Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, UMC Utrecht

People with severe loss of motor control, such as complete paralysis, suffer from an inability to communicate and are excluded from social interaction. Until recently, there was no solution to offer to these patients. In November 2016 we presented the first case of a implanted Brain-Computer Interface system that enabled a late-stage ALS patient with Locked-In Syndrome to control spelling software at home, without help. Key to this system is the principle that the brain generates motor signals even when they do not reach the muscles, which can be detected and interpreted in real-time. I will present this case, and explain how it works. Research leading up to the implantation is moving forward to provide technology for the next generation of BCI implants that will enable better communication capabilities. The ultimate goal is to realize synthetic speech by directly linking electrical brain signals to a speech computer. The mechanisms underlying this concept will be explained, as well as the current status of the research.

Prof. Dr. Nick F Ramsey is the head of the Cognitive Neuroscience Research programme of the Department of Neurology & Neurosurgery, UMC Utrecht, NL.
He has a degree in Psychology and a PhD in neuropsychopharmacology, both from the University of Utrecht. He became a specialist in cognitive neuroimaging in the US (National Institutes of Health), and applies modern techniques, including fMRI and intracranial EEG, to questions on working memory, language and sensorimotor function. His primary goal is to acquire and translate neuroscientific insights to patients with neurological disorders, with a focus on brain-computer interfacing. He is full professor in cognitive neuroscience at the department of neurology and neurosurgery of the UMC Utrecht since 2007. He has been awarded several personal grants (VIDI, VICI, ERC Advanced) for developing intracranial BCI concepts for paralyzed people. He is currently the president of the international Brain-Computer Interface Society (

Organization Distinguished Lectures in Neuroprosthetics;

Contact Host Prof. J. del R. Millàn

Accessibility Informed public

Admittance Free