A Joystick in Your Head

Name: Prof. Dr. Anton Nijholt
Organisation: Human Media Interaction research group, University of Twente

Brain-computer interfacing has become a topic of interest for computer scientists and in particular human-computer interaction researchers. They are looking for applications that add the brain-activity modality to other multi-modal ways of interacting with ‘computers’. That is, a modality that can be added to the usual mouse and keyboard control of applications. But, also a modality that can be added to existing ideas about sensor-equipped environments and devices that also take as input information obtained from auditory, visual, tactile and physiological sensors. We review and discuss possibilities (and limitations) of brain-computer interfacing. That is, we look at the possibilities of on-line control of entertainment applications and on-line adaptation of an application based on a user’s brain activity. The presentation will be concluded with examples of our research on entertaining brain-computer interface applications and future applications that require collaborative and synchronized brain activity from several users or gamers.

About Anton Nijholt:

Anton Nijholt is professor in the Human Media Interaction research group of the University of Twente. He studied mathematics and computer science at the Delft University of Technology and did his PhD research at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. Since then he held positions as post-doc and professor at universities in Canada, the Netherlands and Belgium, before he took a permanent position in 1989 as a full professor at the University of Twente, the Netherlands. His research interests changed from theoretical computer science to human-computer interaction. In Twente he initiated the Human-Media Interaction research group and supervised close to fifty PhD students. He chaired and will chair many conferences and workshops on intelligent agents, affective computing, and entertainment computing. His recent research interests also include brain-computer interfacing, in particular for entertainment applications. Recently two edited books on brain-computer interfacing have appeared. Two other books, devoted to playful interactions with computers are in preparation.

Picture of the speaker