Cortical plasticity and brain computer interface

Eur J Phys Rehabil Med. 2012 Jun;48(2):307-12.


There is increasing evidence to support the concept that adult brain has the remarkable ability to plastically reorganize itself. Brain plasticity involves distinct functional and structural components and plays a crucial role in reorganizing central nervous system's networks after any lesion in order to partly or totally restore lost and/or compromised functions. The idea that a computer can decode brain electromagnetic signals to infer the intentions of a human and then enact those intentions directly through a machine is becoming a reasonable technical possibility. In neurological patients unable to move and to communicate with the external environment, technologies implementing brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) can be of valuable aid and support. The emerging possibility, through neuro-imaging advanced techniques, to clarify some crucial issues underlying brain plasticity will give the possibility to modulate these mechanisms in a BCI-oriented way. This approach may have a tremendous impact in a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders and the clinical advent of this technology will usher in a new era of restorative medicine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Communication Aids for Disabled / statistics & numerical data*
  • Disabled Persons / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Man-Machine Systems*
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • User-Computer Interface*