Brain–Computer Interfaces for Augmentative and Alternative Communication: A Tutorial Purpose Brain–computer interfaces (BCIs) have the potential to improve communication for people who require but are unable to use traditional augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices. As BCIs move toward clinical practice, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) will need to consider their appropriateness for AAC intervention. Method This tutorial provides ... Tutorial
Newly Published
Tutorial  |   January 09, 2018
Brain–Computer Interfaces for Augmentative and Alternative Communication: A Tutorial
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jonathan S. Brumberg
    Department of Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences and Disorders, Neuroscience Graduate Program, The University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Kevin M. Pitt
    Department of Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences and Disorders, The University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Alana Mantie-Kozlowski
    Communication Sciences and Disorders Department, Missouri State University, Springfield
  • Jeremy D. Burnison
    Neuroscience Graduate Program, The University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Jonathan S. Brumberg: brumberg@ku.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor-in-Chief: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Editor: Erinn Finke
    Editor: Erinn Finke×
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Newly Published / Tutorial
Tutorial   |   January 09, 2018
Brain–Computer Interfaces for Augmentative and Alternative Communication: A Tutorial
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-16-0244
History: Received December 31, 2016 , Revised April 6, 2017 , Accepted August 14, 2017
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-16-0244
History: Received December 31, 2016; Revised April 6, 2017; Accepted August 14, 2017

Purpose Brain–computer interfaces (BCIs) have the potential to improve communication for people who require but are unable to use traditional augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices. As BCIs move toward clinical practice, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) will need to consider their appropriateness for AAC intervention.

Method This tutorial provides a background on BCI approaches to provide AAC specialists foundational knowledge necessary for clinical application of BCI. Tutorial descriptions were generated based on a literature review of BCIs for restoring communication.

Results The tutorial responses directly address 4 major areas of interest for SLPs who specialize in AAC: (a) the current state of BCI with emphasis on SLP scope of practice (including the subareas: the way in which individuals access AAC with BCI, the efficacy of BCI for AAC, and the effects of fatigue), (b) populations for whom BCI is best suited, (c) the future of BCI as an addition to AAC access strategies, and (d) limitations of BCI.

Conclusion Current BCIs have been designed as access methods for AAC rather than a replacement; therefore, SLPs can use existing knowledge in AAC as a starting point for clinical application. Additional training is recommended to stay updated with rapid advances in BCI.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders R03-DC011304), the University of Kansas New Faculty Research Fund, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation New Century Scholars Research Grant, all awarded to J. Brumberg.
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