Singapore research team first place in Brain-Computer Interface contest

December 18, 2008

The Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) research team at Singapore's Infocomm Research (I2R) has won first place in the worldwide BCI Competition IV, 2008, in all three electroencephalogram (EEG) based non-invasive BCI categories.

The results were announced on Dec. 12 at the international Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) conference in Vancouver, Canada.

The Singapore scientists designed the non-invasive BCI technology to provide a direct communication channel between the human brain and the computer, so that physically handicapped individuals, such as "locked-in" patients who have lost effective communication and interactive abilities, would be able to communicate and interact with their environment through thoughts, rather than relying on normal, neuromuscular pathways.

The scientists at I2R, which is one of the research institutes under Singapore's A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research) and which is headquartered at the Asian city-state's new R&D epicenter, Fusionopolis, have developed new algorithms and novel techniques that have dramatically improved the efficiency, accuracy and convenience of non-invasive BCI systems.

In Singapore, research work and clinical tests are currently being carried out on a variety of BCI applications such as a communication platform for paralyzed patients, rehabilitation for stroke patients and the treatment for children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

For more information about Singapore's BCI technology: http://www.i2r.a-star.edu.sg/enews/technology/bci.htm

During the competition, the Singapore scientists demonstrated clear strengths in EEG-based non-invasive BCI technology among a total of 35 submissions by scientists from the United States, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

The BCI Competition IV, funded by the European Network of Excellence PASCAL2, was organized by the Berlin Institute of Technology/Fraunhofer FIRST, Graz University of Technology, University of Tübingen, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

For more information about the competition: http://ida.first.fhg.de/projects/bci/competition_iv/results/index.html#winners

Heading Singapore's BCI research team is Dr. Guan Cuntai.

"I would like to congratulate Dr Guan Cuntai and the team for this achievement. This simply proves that our in-house developed technologies are able to compete with the global offerings on a level playing field," said Dr. Lye Kin Mun, Deputy Executive Director for research at I2R. "I see this achievement as having a stamp of recognition from fellow researchers over the world for the team at I2R."
-end-
In addition to Dr. Cuntai, the I2R team consists of Drs. Zhang Haihong, Ang Kai Keng, and Brahim Hamadicharef and Chin Zheng Yang, Wang Chuanchu, Phua Kok Soon, and Tee Keng Peng.

Institute for Infocomm Research:

The Institute for Infocomm Research (I²R - pronounced as i-squared-r) is a member of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) family. Established in 2002, our mission is to be the globally preferred source of innovations in `Interactive Secured Information, Content and Services Anytime Anywhere' through research by passionate people dedicated to Singapore's economic success.

I²R performs R&D in information, communications and media (ICM) technologies to develop holistic solutions across the ICM value chain. Our research capabilities are in information technology and science, wireless and optical communications, and interactive digital media.

We seek to be the infocomm and media value creator that keeps Singapore ahead. Website: www.i2r.a-star.edu.sg

Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR):

A*STAR is Singapore's lead agency for fostering world-class scientific research and talent for a vibrant knowledge-based Singapore. A*STAR actively nurtures public sector research and development in Biomedical Sciences, Physical Sciences and Engineering, with a particular focus on fields essential to Singapore's manufacturing industry and new growth industries. It oversees 19 research institutes and consortia and supports extramural research with the universities, hospital research centres and other local and international partners. At the heart of this knowledge intensive work is human capital. Top local and international scientific talent drive knowledge creation at A*STAR research institutes. The agency also sends scholars for undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral training in the best universities, a reflection of the high priority A*STAR places on nurturing the next generation of scientific talent.

For more information about A*STAR, please visit www.a-star.edu.sg

For media enquiries, please contact:
Andrew Yap
Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R)
DID: (65) 6419 1143
Email: jtyap@i2r.a-star.edu.sg

Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore

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