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BCIs and disability: enhancement, environmental modification, and embodiment

BCIs and disability: enhancement, environmental modification, and embodiment Abstract:This paper explores the ways that BCIs can modify the environment as well as the individual, blur the boundaries between them, and thereby affect the physical functioning and social inclusion of people with disabilities. We begin by outlining the traditional distinction between two kinds of technology that serve people with disabilities: assistive devices and universal design. We then examine a spectrum of BCI applications, from prosthetic attachments to public infrastructure, with the potential to vastly improve the functioning of both disabled and nondisabled people, and to diminish the importance and salience of physical impairments. We suggest that these applications will erode the distinction between assistive devices and universal design as they blur the lines between individual and environmental modifications. Our optimism is tempered by concern for the impact that BCI technology may have on our embodied connection to the physical world and on people with intellectual disabilities. We find the latter concern more disturbing than the former, but speculate that both may be mitigated by the same technology that raises them. We conclude by suggesting that the complexities in appraising the impact of BCI technology on people with disabilities reflect their “dual valence”: the fact that the same uses of that technology have good and bad aspects. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Brain-Computer Interfaces Taylor & Francis

BCIs and disability: enhancement, environmental modification, and embodiment

Brain-Computer Interfaces , Volume 3 (3): 7 – Jul 2, 2016

BCIs and disability: enhancement, environmental modification, and embodiment

Abstract

Abstract:This paper explores the ways that BCIs can modify the environment as well as the individual, blur the boundaries between them, and thereby affect the physical functioning and social inclusion of people with disabilities. We begin by outlining the traditional distinction between two kinds of technology that serve people with disabilities: assistive devices and universal design. We then examine a spectrum of BCI applications, from prosthetic attachments to public infrastructure, with...
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Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN
2326-2621
eISSN
2326-263x
DOI
10.1080/2326263X.2016.1207127
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract:This paper explores the ways that BCIs can modify the environment as well as the individual, blur the boundaries between them, and thereby affect the physical functioning and social inclusion of people with disabilities. We begin by outlining the traditional distinction between two kinds of technology that serve people with disabilities: assistive devices and universal design. We then examine a spectrum of BCI applications, from prosthetic attachments to public infrastructure, with the potential to vastly improve the functioning of both disabled and nondisabled people, and to diminish the importance and salience of physical impairments. We suggest that these applications will erode the distinction between assistive devices and universal design as they blur the lines between individual and environmental modifications. Our optimism is tempered by concern for the impact that BCI technology may have on our embodied connection to the physical world and on people with intellectual disabilities. We find the latter concern more disturbing than the former, but speculate that both may be mitigated by the same technology that raises them. We conclude by suggesting that the complexities in appraising the impact of BCI technology on people with disabilities reflect their “dual valence”: the fact that the same uses of that technology have good and bad aspects.

Journal

Brain-Computer InterfacesTaylor & Francis

Published: Jul 2, 2016

Keywords: [BCIs]; disabilities; inclusion; functioning; assistive devices; universal design; prosthetics; embodiment; dual valence

References