BCI Resources

Terms and concepts

The following terms/concepts from the musical realm are important to understand before we even get to the deep BCI stuff:

Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) Specification – There are dozens of videos and sites out there that cover the MIDI standard.

There are a few concepts I like people to keep in mind when discussing MIDI:

MIDI simply represents the performance information that relates to a musical action. MIDI is not the sound itself. In the analog world, I may press a key lightly on the piano. In the MIDI world, a C note is registered in a specific octave, at a low velocity.

MIDI CC (control change) messages represent parameters that are either expressed as off (o) or on (1) or signals that are within a range expressed from 0-127 (example: panning from left to right).

The MIDI spec also includes capability for “program changes”. These are often used to change patches within a device that might have limitations on how many voices it can play at once. Program changes can also be used to re-map performances from one instrument to another (flute to bass for example).

System Exclusive (Sysex) is an often overlooked side of MIDI that includes device-specific parameters.

This is an extremely simplified overview. It’s easy to get bogged down in a lot of detail here. Here a video that covers MIDI as it relates to working with micro-controllers:

Open Sound Control (OSC) – Here is a great (though quick) overview of MIDI as well as an even better OSC overview. The wikipedia article is also a good place to start.

Control Voltage (CV) – Control voltage is perhaps the oldest form of electrical musical control signal. CV is typically limited to on/off and pitch signals. Despite these limitations, CV is still a very popular way to work with signals, so much so that there has been a renaissance in CV gear, in both Eurorack hardware modular and software emulations (notably VCV Rack).

LSL – Lab Steaming Layer

These links are not in any particular order, and perhaps should be organized better at a later date. For now they are provided to generate discussion about the many related concepts presented here.

My OpenBCI Forum post (shivasongster)
This post started a bunch of discussion within the community.

Open BCI
One of the top open source BCI platforms for makers

BI1brainterface eurorack
The first commercially available brainwave to synthesizer (both CV and MIDI) interface on the worldwide market.

Pantech Solutions BCI Projects
Kits, sensors, modules

Emotive BCI Guide
The Introductory Guide to BCI (Brain-Computer Interface)

Chris Chafe (Stanford) Brain Stethoscope
Converts EEG into sound and maps seizure damage

Muse – meditation/sleep headset
Muse is a brain-sensing headband that helps you refocus during the day and recover overnight.

The effect of meditation on regulation of internal body states
Supports further investigation into studying internal body states

The Penn Program for Mindfulness
Potential source of collaborations/funding.

Visualizing your Sleeping Brain
Example of using Touchdesigner

Arthur Glenberg: Embodied Cognition, Simulation, Mirror Neurons, and Education
How we go from the body to concepts; emotions; mental simulation; simulation, action, perception…

This Is Musician Mickey Hart’s Brain On Music
EEG data… derives from Hart’s brain — drives his concert’s light show.

“Corteza” by Alex Guevara
Alex explains: “A customized brain computer interface (BCI) and improved measurement devices are used to collect data from specific regions of the head and generate accurate signals that communicate directly with a real-time graphic.”

Your Brain On Music – Jeff Strong Uses OpenBCI To Show You How Music Changes Your Brain
Working along similar lines, but with different objectives.

…interplay of rhythm on brain function and the healing power of music and mental health… visualize this interplay and used TouchDesigner to produce real time visualization and sonification of brain activity with live data coming from an Emotiv headset.

Using specialized software, EEG data is translated into abstract 3D forms. … concentrate on building your own personalized thought-form, which can be 3D printed and taken home …

Frontiers on Human Neuroscience
Affective Brain-Computer Music Interfaces—Drivers and Implications

Here’s How to Make Music With Only Your MIND!
Survey of several tech-aided, brainwave-created music experiments

A Paralyzed Man’s Brain Waves Converted to Speech in a World-First Breakthrough
In a world first, US researchers have developed a neuroprosthetic device that successfully translated the brain waves of a paralyzed man into complete sentences…

Brain-Computer Interfaces Using Sensorimotor Rhythms: Current State and Future Perspectives
“This article reviews the current state and future perspectives of SMR-based BCI and its clinical applications, in particular focusing on the EEG SMR. The characteristic features of SMR from the human brain are described and their underlying neural sources are discussed. The functional components of SMR-based BCI, together with its current clinical applications are reviewed. Lastly, limitations of SMR-BCIs and future outlooks are also discussed.”

High-performance brain-to-text communication via handwriting
“Brain-Computer Interface Smashes Previous Record for Typing Speed. Imagining writing-by-hand is faster than imagining moving a cursor in new BCI system”

Listening and the brain
Computer reads brain activity to find out the music each person is listening to

Music in the Brain: Scientists Finally Reveal the Parts of Our Brain That Are Dedicated to Music
Auditory cortex study.

BrainSounds (1st prototype)
An EEG reads brainwaves and converts them into sounds. Each electrode has it’s own speaker, so the audience can walk around and try to listen to your brain at work from all different angles…

Brain waves transformed into music
Ever wondered what your brain sounds like when it thinks? Researchers in China did — so they invented a way to translate the brain’s waves into music.

What Our Brain Looks Like When It Hears Music
Map of brain activity while listening to music created by neuroscientists Robert Zatorre and Valorie Salimpoor. The researchers have been exploring the relationship between music and its impact on the human brain for more than a decade.

Music and the Brain
CAS student’s twin passions inspire a symposium and concert

This manual provides information and instructions for setup and usage of BrainBay, an Application for Biofeedback, Neurofeedback and Human Computer Interaction. BrainBay allows the graphical design of universal configurations for realtimeprocessing, display, storage and opto/acoustic feedback of biosignals, bioelectric
events, visual information or other sensor data.

EEG control of hacked Russian folk instruments
Play a Russian Folk Instrument with Your Mind, Or Turn Seashell Patterns, Likes Into Generative Art

MindMIDI Instructable
Aaron Thomen has created a very nice brainwave-music tool called MindMIDI based on BioExplorer and uses some more MIDI tools.

Imagined Music and Silence Trigger Similar Brain Activity
Summary: EEG study reveals when we imagine a song, similar brain activity occurs as when we experience moments of silence in music.

Neuroscience: Music, silence, and prediction
“Two new research studies have identified the neural signals underlying music imagery. These neural signals are related to melodic expectations and predictions. The researchers isolated, for the first time, the electrical neural signals of prediction by investigating moments of silence in music. They suggest a strong link between imagery, listening to music, and neural prediction processes. Understanding how the brain processes music normally could help establish tests for conditions in which brain processing is impaired, such as dementia.”

Researchers take step toward next-generation brain-computer interface system

A Soft, Wearable Brain–Machine Interface

Researchers take step toward next-generation brain-computer interface system
“Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are emerging assistive devices that may one day help people with brain or spinal injuries to move or communicate. BCI systems depend on implantable sensors that record electrical signals in the brain and use those signals to drive external devices like computers or robotic prosthetics.”

A Soft, Wearable Brain–Machine Interface
Imperceptible micro-needles and flexible circuits improve neural signal recording