An Auditory Output Brain–Computer Interface for Speech Communication
Understanding the neural mechanisms underlying speech production can aid the design and implementation of brain–computer interfaces for speech communication. Specifically, the act of speech production is unequivocally a motor behavior; speech arises from the precise activation of all of the muscles of the respiratory and vocal mechanisms. Speech also preferentially relies on auditory output to communicate information between conversation partners. However, self-perception of one’s own speech is also important for maintaining error-free speech and proper production of intended utterances. This chapter discusses our efforts to use motor cortical neural output during attempted speech production for control of a communication BCI device by an individual with locked-in syndrome while taking advantage of neural circuits used for learning and maintaining speech. The end result is a BCI capable of producing instantaneously vocalized output within a framework of motor-based brain-computer interfacing that provides appropriate auditory feedback to the user.
Supported in part by CELEST, a National Science Foundation Science of Learning Center (NSF SMA-0835976) and the National Institute of Health (R03 DC011304, R44 DC007050-02).
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