$11.5 M invested in brain-machine interfaces for enhancing human decision making

A Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) grant totalling $11.25 M, was awared by US Department of Defense and the UK Ministry of Defense in a interdisciplinary team that will develop brain-machine interfaces to enhance human decision making. The team, led by USC Viterbi’s Shanechi, includes researchers from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Harvard University, New York University, UC Berkeley, Imperial College London, University College London and the University of Essex with expertise in neuroscience, machine learning, signal processing and distributed control. The research will focus on developing new methodologies for modeling multimodal neural, behavioral and physiological data from humans, and for understanding the brain’s decision making and multi-sensory processing. These methodologies will be used to build direct brain-computer interfaces that enhance human decision making under pressure. The researchers will study how humans’ decision-making processes work, and how humans integrate multi-sensory input such as visual and auditory cues into a unified percept. One example would be how the brain integrates the sight of moving lips with the sound of speech to better recognize what a person is trying to communicate. Together, the researchers will generate computational models to create increasingly intelligent interfaces and optimized displays to enhance human performance. The results of their research could be applied to enhance, for example, pilots’ decision making by optimizing how information is presented to them on the dashboard of a plane; or, to enhance how a vehicle operator interacts with his/her vehicle’s console when there are many distractions within his/her immediate environment. Check the full article.