Brain-computer interface using fMRI: Spatial navigation by thoughts

Seung Schik Yoo, Ty Fairneny, Nan Kuei Chen, Seh Eun Choo, Lawrence P. Panych, Hyun Wook Park, Soo Young Lee, Ferenc A. Jolesz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

201 Scopus citations


A brain-computer interface (BCI) is a way of conveying an individual's thoughts to control computer or electromechanical hardware. Capitalizing on the ability to characterize brain activity in a reproducible manner, we explored the possibility of using real-time fMRI to interpret the spatial distribution of brain function as BCI commands. Using a high-field (3 T) MRI scanner, brain activities associated with four distinct covert functional tasks were detected and subsequently translated into predetermined computer commands for moving four directional cursors. The proposed fMRI-BCI method allowed volunteer subjects to navigate through a simple 2D maze solely through their thought processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1591-1595
Number of pages5
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jul 19 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Biofeed
  • Cognition
  • Imagery
  • Mental task
  • Rehabilitation
  • fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Brain-computer interface using fMRI: Spatial navigation by thoughts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this