This article describes the design and development of a low-cost eye tracking-based brain-computer interface system for the rehabilitation of the completely locked-in patient having an intact ocular motor control to serve as an alternative means of communication (Abu-Faraj, Mashaalany, Bou Sleiman, Heneine, & Katergi, 2006). The developed system has been designed according to the following criteria: low cost, low processing power, simplicity of operation, little training requirements, minimal disturbance to the patient, and ease of customization to any mother tongue.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Cerebral Palsy: A static encephalopathy representing a group of nonprogressive neuromuscular conditions caused by injury to the immature central nervous system during its early stages of development: fetal, perinatal, and infantile.
Rehabilitation Engineering: Application of science and technology to ameliorate the handicaps of individuals with disabilities.
Eye Tracking: The process of measuring or recording the movements of the eye.
Expression-Building Software: A computer program used to build small sentences by selecting one letter (or word) at a time.
Traumatic Brain Injury: It occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain.
Brain-Computer Interface: Software or hardware (or a combination of both) systems that allow a person to send commands to a computer program via nonordinary input devices.
Apraxia: The inability to control voluntary movement.
Aphasia: A deficit in language function caused by damage to the Broca’s area, Wernicke’s area, or to their interconnection.
Completely Locked-In Patient: An individual who has lost all types of motor control and communication ability with the environment, while still maintaining a certain level of cognitive functions.
Stroke: It usually occurs when the blood supply to a certain part of the brain is suddenly interrupted, or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, spilling blood into the spaces surrounding brain cells. Accordingly, brain cells die when they no longer receive oxygen and nutrients from the blood.
Cerebral Aneurysm: A permanent abnormal blood-filled dilation of a blood vessel occurring at a flaw or weak point in the wall of an artery that supplies blood to the brain.