Gel-free Noninvasive Brain Computer Interfaces Is More Convenient for Your Hair

Brain–computer interfaces (BCIs) enable direct and near-instant communication between the brain and electronic devices. One of the biggest remaining challenges is to develop an effective noninvasive BCI that allows the recording electrodes to avoid hair on human skin without the inconveniences and complications of using a conductive gel. In this study, we developed a cost-effective, easily manufacturable, flexible, robust, and gel-free silver nanowire/polyvinyl butyral (PVB)/melamine sponge (AgPMS) electroencephalogram (EEG) electrode that circumvents problems with hair. Because of surface metallization by the silver nanowires (AgNWs), the sponge has a high conductivity of 917 S/m while its weight remains the same. The flexible sponge framework and self-locking AgNWs combine to give the new electrode remarkable mechanical stability (the conductivity remains unchanged after 10 000 cycles at 10% compression) and the ability to bypass hair. A BCI application based on steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) measurements on hairless skin shows that the BCI accuracy of the new electrode (86%) is approximately the same as that of conventional electrodes supported by a conductive gel (88%). Most importantly, the performance of the AgPMS on hairy skin is not significantly reduced, which indicates that the new electrode can replace conventional electrodes for both hairless and hairy skin BCIs and other EEG applications.

Nanoletters – A Flexible, Robust, and Gel-Free Electroencephalogram Electrode for Noninvasive Brain-Computer Interfaces

32 pages of supplemental material.

SOURCES- Nanoletters
Written By Isaac Wang,

24 thoughts on “Gel-free Noninvasive Brain Computer Interfaces Is More Convenient for Your Hair”

  1. How is assuming there is a chance that two people with the same last name are related, racist?

    Unless, of course, you assume that the Wang last name carries with it racial connotations?

    Jimbo, that’s mighty racist of you…

  2. You would allow someone to work with children, precious innocent CHILDREN for a whole year between checks?
    You monster!!!@@!@!

    No, continuous monitoring. Especially in the early years (decades) of the tech where individual thoughts are just about impossible to catch reliably, (not without expensive calibration for each individual) but you COULD set up alerts for moods. Any inappropriate mood and an alarm goes off at the local thoughtcrime office.

    So, a teacher? No getting angry, or horny, at work.
    Anger is also banned for cops (except thoughtcrime cops of course, they are justified) or people who are dealing with government bureaucracies. Which is why it’s now mandatory to wear such helmets when trying to change the registration of a car to another state.

    Banking staff must be monitored for greed. Everybody below upper management that is.

    Whereas normal people in their normal lives don’t need monitoring at all. Except for sleepiness, intoxication and lack of concentration while driving, but that’s just common sense.

    And don’t act like machines for checking drivers for intoxication or sleepiness are not already in operation in the year of our lord 2019.

  3. It’s worth looking at. Could be a master’s degree project in it even if it proves a dead end.
    Issues that might stop it:

    • Hairs don’t go deep enough into the scalp
    • The conductive film doesn’t go deep enough into the scalp
    • We can’t get the insulating coating reliable enough to stop adjacent hairs shorting out.

    But as I said, it’s worth a look I reckon.

  4. It’s not a totally crazy idea, I’ll give you that. But individually connecting to each hair would be a real job.

  5. LOL, I’m not sure if that was written just for entertainment value or what, but whatever.

    Anyway yeah I’m well aware that there are lots of Wang’s and most of them aren’t related in any meaningful sense. But Nextbigfuture isn’t exactly a large corporation with dozens of writers. It’s a small operation, ergo it might be a family operation. When you meet a random person named Smith and you hear about a different Smith in the news and you think they are related, you are an idiot. But when you read a book by Jack and Jill Smith, it’s only logical to wonder.

    Scrolling through a few more pages, I’ve noticed that there are also articles by Alvin Wang, with the earliest apparently going as far back as 2008. Brian posts so many of the articles that I never noticed anyone else in here, aside from a few explicitly marked guest articles.

    *edit: Oh! I just realized some of you probably thought I was talking about the original research article (which apparently does indeed have some Wangs in the author list, heh). I meant the person who posted this to NBF. To be fair, Isaac Wang did just copy and paste the abstract here, so I guess he isn’t an author of much, per se. Though that’s always how this site has been.

  6. Why would you essentially call someone a racist without knowing the motive behind the words. Perhaps he was trying to pay a compliment. And perhaps it was taken by the Authors as a compliment.

  7. I did consider that possibility. But it is a question of continuous vs periodic. Most people are not in court on a daily bases. Even the “working with children” thing could be a test once a year.
    I guess I just assume we will be using fMRI/polygraph or something similar to use in court or in place of court, and screen people in positions where exploitation of position could do a lot of harm. That may take 50 years or 100. I think that would be a very good thing. But the tech exists now, and could easily perform this task well today:
    “In the 17 cases when polygraph and fMRI agreed on what the concealed number was, they were 100 percent correct.”
    The head thing is not part of this with current technology. In the future, they will probably have smaller mobile fMRI machines to do some of this.
    But it would certainly suck to have to have this ridiculous contraption glued to your head all day everyday…and the constant mind-reading potential.

  8. I think you missed the point of my comment.

    I mentioned “extreme conditions” and then started listing them, ended up with criteria that covered a huge % of the population at some point.

    If you can’t imagine people standing up and claiming that unsafe thought monitoring was justified… actually demanded… by the dangers of adults being in contact with children (think of the children!!) then… well then you haven’t spent much time watching humans for the past few decades.

  9. I am not a scientist or engineer. I am 72 years old and just had a epthony.

    Could you wash your hair with a conductive soap leaving a film on each hair, and then rewash it with a insulating soap.

    We have a average of 100,000 scalp hairs that are now embedded wires into the scalp.

    Hooking these to a super computer while AI interprets the incoming signals to correlate what your seeing, feelin, doing.

    Now I realize the technology can’t do this yet, but it does not seem that far fetched.

  10. “I just noticed that some of these articles are written by Isaac Wang. A family member of Brian’s?”‘

    That is so racist, this isn’t the daily stormer.

  11. That’s ridiculous. They would only be required for extreme conditions like access to top security locations, law courts, working with children…

  12. What is the current cost, and how long until we can order these new electrodes from Chinese manufacturers at a reasonable price?

    Also–and I’m guessing this will be revealed when I read the PDF but just in case it’s not specified–do these replace just the pad, the pad and electrode, or would you have to buy/build everything new?

  13. I just noticed that some of these articles are written by Isaac Wang. A family member of Brian’s?

    Anyway, it’s nice. Shaving and using EEG paste is annoying.

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