Research Topic

Brain-Computer Interfaces and Augmented/Virtual Reality

About this Research Topic

In recent years, Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) has matured technically, delivering higher levels of immersion and presence to users, while it has also become a widely available tool to create a new range of applications and experiences. AR/VR technology allows to create scenarios which are much more stimulating and expressive than standard desktop applications, covering a wide variety of areas, namely entertainment, education, art, and health, among others.

The fusion of Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) with AR/VR can provide additional communication channels, by increasing the bandwidth of the human-AR/VR interaction. This is achieved either explicitly through active BCIs or implicitly using passive BCIs. Active BCIs notably allow users to issue commands to devices or to enter text without physical involvement of any kind, while passive BCIs monitor a user's state (e.g. workload level, attentional state) and can be used to proactively adapt the VR/AR interface.

BCIs, together with AR/VR, offer the possibility for immersive scenarios through induced illusions of an artificially perceived reality that can be utilized not only in basic BCI research but also therapeutic applications, human-computer Interaction, etc. To live up to these expectations, methodological advances are required for BCI interaction and stimulus design, synchronization, or dealing with VR/AR specific artifacts and distractions. The goal of this Research Topic is to create an understanding of the current capabilities of BCIs in VR/AR applications, to propose a taxonomy of current and future applications, and to identify and tackle the most relevant technical challenges.

In this Research Topic, we are looking for: (1) studies that investigate active or passive BCIs to improve the usability or functionality of AR/VR applications, (2) studies which investigate realistic, immersive, and/or multisensory scenarios in AR/VR which make use of a BCI, (3) methodological and technical advancements related to the combination of AR/VR and BCI, and (4) applications for rehabilitation, therapy, art, entertainment, education, training, or other areas that result from the combination of BCI and AR/VR technology.

Central open research questions which we would like to see approached in this Research Topic comprise:

* Can well-known BCI paradigms be transferred to an AR/VR setting? Which differences and challenges result from the change in levels of immersion?
* What are AR/VR specific challenges for BCI, for example regarding artifacts, distraction or overload?
* Which novel BCI paradigms emerge in AR/VR which become only possible due the multisensory stimulation or the mixed reality effects?
* How can active BCI used as a control interface for disabled or healthy users of AR/VR technology?
* How can passive BCI be used to adapt AR/VR interfaces to their users’ states?
* Which novel technical infrastructures facilitate the rapid combination of BCI and AR/VR technology?

Additionally, we are also interested in submissions in any other relevant aspects related to the Research Topic. Comprehensive review articles which critically reflect the state-of-the-art on a certain aspect of the topic are also welcome.

Topic Editor Timothy Mullen is the CEO of Intheon. All other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regards to the Research Topic subject. 


Keywords: Brain-Computer Interface, EEG, fNIRS, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

In recent years, Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) has matured technically, delivering higher levels of immersion and presence to users, while it has also become a widely available tool to create a new range of applications and experiences. AR/VR technology allows to create scenarios which are much more stimulating and expressive than standard desktop applications, covering a wide variety of areas, namely entertainment, education, art, and health, among others.

The fusion of Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) with AR/VR can provide additional communication channels, by increasing the bandwidth of the human-AR/VR interaction. This is achieved either explicitly through active BCIs or implicitly using passive BCIs. Active BCIs notably allow users to issue commands to devices or to enter text without physical involvement of any kind, while passive BCIs monitor a user's state (e.g. workload level, attentional state) and can be used to proactively adapt the VR/AR interface.

BCIs, together with AR/VR, offer the possibility for immersive scenarios through induced illusions of an artificially perceived reality that can be utilized not only in basic BCI research but also therapeutic applications, human-computer Interaction, etc. To live up to these expectations, methodological advances are required for BCI interaction and stimulus design, synchronization, or dealing with VR/AR specific artifacts and distractions. The goal of this Research Topic is to create an understanding of the current capabilities of BCIs in VR/AR applications, to propose a taxonomy of current and future applications, and to identify and tackle the most relevant technical challenges.

In this Research Topic, we are looking for: (1) studies that investigate active or passive BCIs to improve the usability or functionality of AR/VR applications, (2) studies which investigate realistic, immersive, and/or multisensory scenarios in AR/VR which make use of a BCI, (3) methodological and technical advancements related to the combination of AR/VR and BCI, and (4) applications for rehabilitation, therapy, art, entertainment, education, training, or other areas that result from the combination of BCI and AR/VR technology.

Central open research questions which we would like to see approached in this Research Topic comprise:

* Can well-known BCI paradigms be transferred to an AR/VR setting? Which differences and challenges result from the change in levels of immersion?
* What are AR/VR specific challenges for BCI, for example regarding artifacts, distraction or overload?
* Which novel BCI paradigms emerge in AR/VR which become only possible due the multisensory stimulation or the mixed reality effects?
* How can active BCI used as a control interface for disabled or healthy users of AR/VR technology?
* How can passive BCI be used to adapt AR/VR interfaces to their users’ states?
* Which novel technical infrastructures facilitate the rapid combination of BCI and AR/VR technology?

Additionally, we are also interested in submissions in any other relevant aspects related to the Research Topic. Comprehensive review articles which critically reflect the state-of-the-art on a certain aspect of the topic are also welcome.

Topic Editor Timothy Mullen is the CEO of Intheon. All other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regards to the Research Topic subject. 


Keywords: Brain-Computer Interface, EEG, fNIRS, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 January 2019 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 January 2019 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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