Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Direct Brain-Computer Interface for Cognitive Assessment

Technology #6101

In many case individuals with neurological conditions such as ALS or traumatic brain injuries do not have motor and verbal control required to communicate using typical methods. When cognitive assessments are used to measure cognitive abilities which can be used to determine therapies and services, the assessments are inaccessible to these patients because they cannot select answers. Cognitive assessments can produce results that are incorrect and do not accurately reflect the cognitive abilities of the user since they do not allow for direct selection.

BCI-based cognitive assessments are accessible to patients with neurological conditions

New algorithms could be employed in a BCI system for administration of multiple choice assessments that would allow patients to complete the assessment despite impairments. Users can select answers by generating brain signals that can be interpreted as choices on the test. The algorithms ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the assessment by monitoring the user’s attention to the test verifying the selected answer. Use of such a BCI-based assessment system would result in more accessible and accurate testing for individuals with neurological conditions.


  • Accurate standardized tests for patients with motor and speech impairments
  • Academic research into cognitive ability
  • Assessment of soldiers and others with TBI


  • Accessible to patients with high degree of impairment
  • Accurately reflects cognitive activity
  • Direct selection of responses