There are various reasons why individuals may be non-communicative, from acute traumatic injury to congenital disabilities, such as autism and dementia. As Canada Research Chair in Biosignal Interaction and Personhood Technology, Dr. Stefanie Blain-Moraes aims to enhance the way we interact with non-communicative individuals.
Technologies for detecting consciousness are already being used to aid decision-making in intensive care units, while those for enhancing interaction are being developed to assist individuals with autism and dementia. Blain-Moraes and her research team are applying advanced signal processing and machine learning algorithms to electroencephalographic (EEG) and autonomic nervous system (ANS) data to classify states of human consciousness and emotions in order to support these technologies. Ultimately, these technologies will be used to better assess and interact with non-communicative individuals.