Can your brain communicate directly with a computer?

At Meta Reality Labs, the new name for Facebook Reality Labs, the team wanted to answer this question using the Photon Force PF32 camera, our customised firmware and multispeckle Diffuse Correlation Spectroscopy (DCS).

The team’s research into developing possible brain/computer interface techniques focused around blood flow changes in specific areas of the brain correlating with neuronal activity in those same areas.

Brain/Computer Interface application

DCS is a promising, non-invasive optical technique for monitoring cerebral blood flow and measuring cortex functional activation tasks, however, current DCS tools have a trade-off between sensitivity to the cortex and signal to noise ratio (SNR).

  • The Meta Reality Labs team needed to develop a scalable method that increased the sensitivity of DCS instruments.

How Photon Force technology helped accelerate brain/computer interface research

The team at Meta Reality Labs needed the ability to look at more than one speckle at time, but current DCS systems and health and safety protocol prevented this.

The team had heard about Photon Force’s PF32 camera range, and were keen to find out more about the 1000 pixels’ worth of detectors contained within it that were fast enough and sensitive enough to measure multiple speckles at one time.

tech at meta reality labs

Using a diffuser in front of the PF32 camera, a sugar cube in this instance, the researchers shone a light through and captured the speckle field. They then moved the diffuser around, noted that speckle patterns were showing up on the camera, and were able to measure the data. The conclusion was that a multispeckle DCS system using the PF32 SPAD camera is a scalable method for achieving high sensitivity DCS measurements.

  • Meta Reality Labs reported a 32-fold increase in SNR when compared to traditional single-speckle DCS when using the PF32 for their study on brain/computer interface

brain computer interface test diagram
Increasing the Signal to Noise Ratio for brain computer interface research

Increasing the signal to noise ratio

Mark Chevillet on hands-free communication without saying a word | ApplySci Silicon Valley

Mark Chevillet on hands-free communication without saying a word | ApplySci Silicon Valley

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