DARPA-funded efforts in the development of novel brain-computer interface technologies

J Neurosci Methods. 2015 Apr 15:244:52-67. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2014.07.019. Epub 2014 Aug 9.


The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has funded innovative scientific research and technology developments in the field of brain-computer interfaces (BCI) since the 1970s. This review highlights some of DARPA's major advances in the field of BCI, particularly those made in recent years. Two broad categories of DARPA programs are presented with respect to the ultimate goals of supporting the nation's warfighters: (1) BCI efforts aimed at restoring neural and/or behavioral function, and (2) BCI efforts aimed at improving human training and performance. The programs discussed are synergistic and complementary to one another, and, moreover, promote interdisciplinary collaborations among researchers, engineers, and clinicians. Finally, this review includes a summary of some of the remaining challenges for the field of BCI, as well as the goals of new DARPA efforts in this domain.

Keywords: Brain–computer interface; Brain–machine interface; DARPA; Neuroscience.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain-Computer Interfaces*
  • Humans
  • Man-Machine Systems*
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • User-Computer Interface*