Brain-computer interfaces using sensorimotor rhythms: Current state and future perspectives

Han Yuan, Bin He

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

203 Scopus citations


Many studies over the past two decades have shown that people can use brain signals to convey their intent to a computer using brain-computer interfaces (BCIs). BCI systems extract specific features of brain activity and translate them into control signals that drive an output. Recently, a category of BCIs that are built on the rhythmic activity recorded over the sensorimotor cortex, i.e., the sensorimotor rhythm (SMR), has attracted considerable attention among the BCIs that use noninvasive neural recordings, e.g., electroencephalography (EEG), and have demonstrated the capability of multidimensional prosthesis control. This paper 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. Finally, limitations of SMR-BCIs and future outlooks are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6775293
Pages (from-to)1425-1435
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014


  • Brain-computer interface (BCI)
  • brain-machine interface (BMI)
  • electroencephalography (EEG)
  • neural interface
  • sensorimotor rhythm (SMR)

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