Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Computational Intelligence and Neuroscience
Volume 2007, Article ID 71863, 5 pages
Research Article

Nessi: An EEG-Controlled Web Browser for Severely Paralyzed Patients

1Department of Computer Engineering, University of Tübingen, Tübingen 72076, Germany
2Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, University of Tübingen, Gartenstrasse 29, Tübingen 72074, Germany
3Graduate School of Neural and Behavioral Sciences, International Max Planck Research School, University of Tübingen, Tübingen 72076, Germany
4Fraunhofer FIRST, Intelligent Data Analysis Group, Berlin 12489, Germany
5Department of Computer Engineering, University of Leipzig, Leipzig 04103, Germany
6Human Cortical Physiology Unit, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD 20892, USA

Received 28 February 2007; Accepted 26 June 2007

Academic Editor: Shangkai Gao

Copyright © 2007 Michael Bensch et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We have previously demonstrated that an EEG-controlled web browser based on self-regulation of slow cortical potentials (SCPs) enables severely paralyzed patients to browse the internet independently of any voluntary muscle control. However, this system had several shortcomings, among them that patients could only browse within a limited number of web pages and had to select links from an alphabetical list, causing problems if the link names were identical or if they were unknown to the user (as in graphical links). Here we describe a new EEG-controlled web browser, called Nessi, which overcomes these shortcomings. In Nessi, the open source browser, Mozilla, was extended by graphical in-place markers, whereby different brain responses correspond to different frame colors placed around selectable items, enabling the user to select any link on a web page. Besides links, other interactive elements are accessible to the user, such as e-mail and virtual keyboards, opening up a wide range of hypertext-based applications.