Abstract: Invasive brain-computer interfaces hold promise to alleviate disabilities in individuals with neurologic injury, with fully implantable brain-computer interface systems expected to reach the clinic in the upcoming decade. Children with severe neurologic disabilities, like quadriplegic cerebral palsy or cervical spine trauma, could benefit from this technology. However, they have been excluded from clinical trials of intracortical brain-computer interface to date. In this manuscript, we discuss the ethical considerations related to the use of invasive brain-computer interface in children with severe neurologic disabilities. We first review the technical hardware and software considerations for the application of intracortical brain-computer interface in children. We then discuss ethical issues related to motor brain-computer interface use in pediatric neurosurgery. Finally, based on the input of a multidisciplinary panel of experts in fields related to brain-computer interface (functional and restorative neurosurgery, pediatric neurosurgery, mathematics and artificial intelligence research, neuroengineering, pediatric ethics, and pragmatic ethics), we then formulate initial recommendations regarding the clinical use of invasive brain-computer interfaces in children.
Keywords: brain-computer interface; brain-machine interface; ethics; neuroprosthesis.