Brain-Computer Interaction

Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) have been a widely researched topic for the last 20 years. BCIs make use of brain activity to create controls for computers or machines in general. The most common approach to establish such a connection between computer and brain is to measure the electrical activity of the brain at the scalp surface, via Electroencephalography (EEG). Those EEG devices are non-invasive, comparably cheap and can nowadays even be used with dry electrode caps, which makes them easy to setup. Within this seminar you will learn about different techniques and types of BCIs and develop your own Brain-Computer Interface with a dry electrode EEG-headset in a group project.

The seminar consists of 3 stages:

  1. In the first stage you will do a basic literature research on a topic/task that we provide to you. Each of those tasks covers a different topic in Brain-Computer Interaction. Those topics will be presented in the Kickoff meeting, including a short introductory lecture on different BCI techniques, providing the necessary background. After the presentation you can indicate your interest on one of those topics and we will try to assign you to a group according to your interest. Afterwards you will receive basic literature regarding this topic and perform a literature research on the state-of-the-art in this field. 
  2. In a second step you will create a concept and implementation plan to solve the given task. This implementation plan should be based on state-of-the-art methods that you researched on in the first step and will be presented to the seminar participants and tutors in a 20-minute presentation. The talk should introduce the task/problem you were working on, include the most relevant studies in this field, what impact those studies and their results have on your work and finally your implementation plan that you concluded on. The implementation plan will be discussed in the group and if accepted you can proceed to the implementation.
  3. In the third stage you will implement the BCI-application with your group in the DFKI labs. We will provide you the headsets and other required hardware. In order to give you all an introduction to the headset that you will use ( ) there will be a tutorial on the software architecture and general information on how to get started with the headset. Afterwards you will continue with the implementation and at the end of the seminar each group will give a short demonstration of the implemented prototype.

At the end of the seminar you will write down your results in the format of a typical research paper including Introduction, Related Work, Methods and Results section. We will provide you a template for that. This summary should be 6-8 pages long.


All materials such as slides, papers etc. can be found on our CMS webpage.


We are aware of the difficult situation currently concerning Covid-19 especially regarding group work. The above information and schedule is based on the initial plan for the seminar. Depending on the development of the situation and restrictions given by the government, we might have to change plans dynamically. Given the three stages of the seminar, here recent information:

  1. The Kickoff will be held virtually via Zoom on May 4th from 10 – 11 am (Star Wars day ;-)). Further information about schedule and important dates will be published soon. We consider the literature research as “homework” and therefor without any need to meet in person. If you want to discuss findings either use existing videoconferencing software or ask us to setup a Zoom meeting for you.
  2. The group presentations will be held in Zoom as well.
  3. Implementation is the most complicated part in the current situation. Regarding the timeline, the actual implementation phase will not start before middle/end of June. We hope that the situation has calmed down until that point and that we are able to continue with the implementation as planed at DFKI.

Important dates

  • Kickoff will be held virtually via Zoom on May 4th from 10 – 11 am (Link was provided via Mail)
  • Preliminary results of literature research May 28th from 00:00 - 23:59 (please submit in CMS)
  • Concept presentation: on the 17th of June from 10 - 12 am via Zoom again (Link will be provided via Mail)
  • Final demonstration: end of September, date TBA


  • 10% for the RW- Implementation-Presentation
  • 50% for the prototype development
  • 40% for the summary and the final demonstration of the prototype