On Interfacing the Brain with Quantum Computers: An Approach to Listen to the Logic of the Mind

12/22/2020
by   Eduardo Reck Miranda, et al.
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This chapter presents a quantum computing-based approach to study and harness neuronal correlates of mental activity for the development of Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) systems. It introduces the notion of a logic of the mind, where neurophysiological data are encoded as logical expressions representing mental activity. Effective logical expressions are likely to be extensive, involving dozens of variables. Large expressions require considerable computational power to be processed. This is problematic for BCI applications because they require fast reaction times to execute sequences of commands. Quantum computers hold much promise in terms of processing speed for some problems, including those involving logical expressions. Hence, we propose to use quantum computers to process the logic of the mind. The chapter begins with an introduction to BCI and the electroencephalogram, which is the neurophysiological signal that is normally used in BCI. Then, it briefly discusses how the EEG corresponds to mental states, followed by an introduction to the logic of the mind. After that, there is an overview of quantum computing, focusing on the basics deemed necessary to understand how it processes logical expressions. An example of a BCI system is presented. In a nutshell, the system reads the EEG and builds logical expressions, which are sent to a quantum computer to solve them. In turn, the system converts the results into sounds by means of a bespoke synthesiser. Essentially, the BCI here is a musical instrument controlled by the mind of the player. Our BCI is a proof-of-concept aimed at demonstrating how quantum computing may support the development of sophisticated BCI systems. The remaining of the chapter is devoted to technical and practical considerations on the limitations of current quantum computing hardware technology and scalability of the system.

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