Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Theme 4: Brain Networks and Neuronal Communication

Brain Computer Interfacing

Brain Computer InterfacingBrain Computer interfaces detect covert mental activity (often on the basis of single trials) and use that to control a device or present feedback.

Our group is engaged in elaborating and exploiting online real-time Brain Computer interfaces as experimental method for cognitive neuroscience and as reliable technique for new applications in control, consciousness detection and training. We elaborate innovative EEG markers and adaptive stimulus probing paradigms in different modalities (tactile, auditory, visual), aiming for subject-independent zero-training BCI's.

We connect neuro signal-processing (decoding) with symbolic AI techniques, eg. in detecting semantic priming of written words. We are very interested to contribute to valorisation of scientific results and build (new) networks and infrastructure. In our team we host two spin-off companies on BCI technology.

Our most relevant patents are Method for processing a brain wave signal and brain computer interface. WO 2010/008276 A1 (+ Farquhar) and Method and system for training of perceptual skills using neurofeedback. WO 2010/117264 A1 (+ McQueen)

Name: Peter Desain
Telephone: 024-3615885
Fax: 024-3616066
Visiting address: Donders Centre for Cognition
Montessorilaan 3
6525 HR Nijmegen
The Netherlands
Postal address: Donders Centre for Cognition
P.O. Box 9104
6500 HE Nijmegen
The Netherlands
Key publications
  • Vlek, R.J., Schaefer, R.S., Gielen, C.C.A.M., Farquhar, J.D. and Desain, P. Sequenced subjective accents for brain-computer interfaces. Journal of Neural Engineering Volume: 8 Issue: 3 2011
  • Severens, M., Farquhar, J., Desain, P., Duysens, J., Gielen, C. Transient and steady-state responses to mechanical stimulation of different fingers reveal interactions based on lateral inhibition. Clinical Neurophysiology Volume: 121 Issue: 12 Pages: 2090-2096 2010
  • Schaefer. RS, Desain, P. & Suppes, P. Structural decomposition of EEG signatures of melodic processing. Biological Psychology Volume: 82 Issue: 3 Pages: 253-259 2009
  • Farquhar J. A linear feature space for simultaneous learning of spatio-spectral filters in BCI. Neural Networks 2009 Nov;22(9):1278–1285.
  • Farquhar J., J. Hill, Interactions between pre-processing and classification methods for event-related-potential classification: best-practice guidelines for brain-computer interfacing. Neuroinformatics, Dec 2012
  • Schaefer R.S., J. Farquhar, Y. Blokland, M. Sadakata, P. Desain, Name that tune: decoding music from the listening brain, Neuroimage, 2010
Key grants and prizes
  • EZ/NWO SmartMix. 2007-2013. BrainGain. BCI, neurostimulatie and neurofeedback (14M)
  • STW open technology. 2010-2014. Earopener. BCI for training perceptual categories ( .5M)
  • STW Valorisation Grant. 2011-2013. RE-phrase/affect. BCI for communication by ALS patients (225K)
  • STW Valorisation Grant fase 1. 2012-2013. New BCI classifier method for creative industries (25K)
  • Hersenstichting Quality Price. 2012-2014. Wordfinder App for Aphasics (35K)
  • ZonMW Healthcare Innovation Price. 2012-2014. Assistive technology for ALS patients (75K)
  • NWO Zwaartekracht. 2012-2022. Language Interaction (27M)


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Theme 4:
Natural Computing & Neurotechnology

Research Group
Brain Computer Interfacing

Principal Investigator
Prof. Peter Desain

Group members

Ceci Verbaarschot

Karen Dijkstra