Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are a special communication system that directly links the brain and the outside world to achieve “mind control."
During his master’s studies, Minpeng Xu focused on the paradigm design for non-invasive BCIs. He proposed a novel hybrid BCI paradigm based on the combination of P300 and the SSVEP blocking feature, which could improve BCI encoding performance significantly.
During his doctoral studies, Xu focused on the neural mechanism of event-related potentials (ERPs), one of the most widely used brain control signals. His study first reported the phenomenon of how two contradictory ERP models mutually converted to each other. The findings are significant for understanding the generation of ERPs and provide new theory for the design of BCI paradigms and algorithms.
Traditional BCI algorithms could only recognize the relatively obvious electroencephalography (EEG) features with amplitudes greater than 2 μV. Xu’s research pioneered the detection of miniature brain potentials as small as 0.5 μV in amplitude. This technique has received financial support from a prestigious telecommunication company to make it more practical, and it has been patented in both China and the United States.
The goal of BCI development is to take it from the lab to the market. Xu has been working hard to make the practical application of BCIs a reality. As a principal investigator, he developed a high-performance brain-controlled drone that was honored to be displayed at China's national “13th Five-Year” Scientific and technological innovation achievement Exhibition. Furthermore, he was a key contributor to the in-space BCI experiment conducted on the ‘Tiangong II’ space station in 2016, which was the first time in history that the usability of BCIs was validated in space.