Brain-computer interfaces: Military, neurosurgical, and ethical perspective

Ivan S. Kotchetkov, Brian Y. Hwang, Geoffrey Appelboom, Christopher P. Kellner, E. Sander Connolly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations

Abstract

Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are devices that acquire and transform neural signals into actions intended by the user. These devices have been a rapidly developing area of research over the past 2 decades, and the military has made significant contributions to these efforts. Presently, BCIs can provide humans with rudimentary control over computer systems and robotic devices. Continued advances in BCI technology are especially pertinent in the military setting, given the potential for therapeutic applications to restore function after combat injury, and for the evolving use of BCI devices in military operations and performance enhancement. Neurosurgeons will play a central role in the further development and implementation of BCIs, but they will also have to navigate important ethical questions in the translation of this highly promising technology. In the following commentary the authors discuss realistic expectations for BCI use in the military and underscore the intersection of the neurosurgeon's civic and clinical duty to care for those who serve their country.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalNeurosurgical Focus
Volume28
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Brain-computer interface
  • Brain-machine interface
  • Ethics
  • Military neurosurgeon

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