Beyond Technologies of Electroencephalography-Based Brain-Computer Interfaces: A Systematic Review From Commercial and Ethical Aspects

Cesar Augusto Fontanillo Lopez, Guangye Li, Dingguo Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (SciVal)


The deployment of electroencephalographic techniques for commercial applications has undergone a rapid growth in recent decades. As they continue to expand in the consumer markets as suitable techniques for monitoring the brain activity, their transformative potential necessitates equally significant ethical inquiries. One of the main questions, which arises then when evaluating these kinds of applications, is whether they should be aligned or not with the main ethical concerns reported by scholars and experts. Thus, the present work attempts to unify these disciplines of knowledge by performing a comprehensive scan of the major electroencephalographic market applications as well as their most relevant ethical concerns arising from the existing literature. In this literature review, different databases were consulted, which presented conceptual and empirical discussions and findings about commercial and ethical aspects of electroencephalography. Subsequently, the content was extracted from the articles and the main conclusions were presented. Finally, an external assessment of the outcomes was conducted in consultation with an expert panel in some of the topic areas such as biomedical engineering, biomechatronics, and neuroscience. The ultimate purpose of this review is to provide a genuine insight into the cutting-edge practical attempts at electroencephalography. By the same token, it seeks to highlight the overlap between the market needs and the ethical standards that should govern the deployment of electroencephalographic consumer-grade solutions, providing a practical approach that overcomes the engineering myopia of certain ethical discussions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number611130
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant Nos. 61761166006 and 91848112.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2020 Fontanillo Lopez, Li and Zhang.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • brain-computer interface
  • commercial aspects
  • EEG
  • electroencephalography
  • ethical aspects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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