Overview of the Most Important Advances in Magnetoencephalography Technology





The overview of the latest advances in magnetoencephalography (MEG) technology, including the development of optically pumped magnetometers (OPM), is presented. The main advantage of OPM over conventional superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUID) is the absence of cryogenic cooling, which reduces the cost of equipment by 2-3 times. Moreover, the OPM can be positioned a few millimeters from the scalp, which roughly doubles the signal-to-noise ratio. In addition, they are not as susceptible to muscle artifacts as electroencephalography (EEG) signals. Moreover, placing the OPM in a nulling magnetic field reduces the effects of head movement artifacts in the surrounding field. All these advantages open up great potential for the development of a new generation of OPM-based brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) that are cheaper, more flexible and more responsive than SQUID-based BCIs, which can perform both motor and non-motor tasks. Despite the tremendous progress made over the past few years, OPM-MEG is still an evolving technology that requires further improvement. Due to the large size of the sensors, the number of channels is relatively small (less than 50), so they cannot cover the entire head. Although many BCI applications require only a few sensors, their correct placement in selected areas of the scalp is very important. The miniaturization and versatility of lightweight helmets could be an important step towards the further development of OPM for BCI and other applications.

Author Biography

Alexander N. Pisarchik, Technical University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain; Innopolis University, Innopolis, Republic of Tatarstan, Russia

Alexander N. Pisarchik, PhD (in Physics and Mathematics), Professor, Centre for Biomedical Technology, Technical University of Madrid; Leading Researcher, Innopolis University.
7, Calle Ramiro de Maeztu, 28040, Madrid, Spain.





Research Papers