Neural Point-and-Click Communication by a Person With Incomplete Locked-In Syndrome

Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2015 Jun;29(5):462-71. doi: 10.1177/1545968314554624. Epub 2014 Nov 10.


A goal of brain-computer interface research is to develop fast and reliable means of communication for individuals with paralysis and anarthria. We evaluated the ability of an individual with incomplete locked-in syndrome enrolled in the BrainGate Neural Interface System pilot clinical trial to communicate using neural point-and-click control. A general-purpose interface was developed to provide control of a computer cursor in tandem with one of two on-screen virtual keyboards. The novel BrainGate Radial Keyboard was compared to a standard QWERTY keyboard in a balanced copy-spelling task. The Radial Keyboard yielded a significant improvement in typing accuracy and speed-enabling typing rates over 10 correct characters per minute. The participant used this interface to communicate face-to-face with research staff by using text-to-speech conversion, and remotely using an internet chat application. This study demonstrates the first use of an intracortical brain-computer interface for neural point-and-click communication by an individual with incomplete locked-in syndrome.

Keywords: ALS; assistive technology; paralysis; spinal cord injury; stroke; text entry.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Brain-Computer Interfaces*
  • Communication Aids for Disabled
  • Communication*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Quadriplegia / rehabilitation*
  • User-Computer Interface*