By Tami Freeman
Sumner Norman, chief neuroscientist at AE Studio, talks to Tami Freeman about the company’s work in brain–computer interfaces.
A brain–computer interface (BCI) is a system that enables information to flow directly between the brain and an external device such as a computer, smartphone or robotic limb. The BCI includes hardware that records brain signals – most commonly electrical signals generated by neurons in the brain – and software that analyses features in these signals and converts them into commands to perform a desired action. The major application of BCIs is to restore abilities such as movement or communication to people with neurological disorders or injuries.
AE Studio, a data science company based in Los Angeles, is developing machine-learning algorithms that will expand the ability of BCIs to interpret brain activity in real time. Sumner Norman, chief neuroscientist at AE Studio and research scientist at Caltech, tells Physics World about the company’s mission to create software that increases human agency.