Since then, the primary focus of BCI research has been to provide a communications pathway for seriously disabled persons. A brain-computer interface (BCI) is a hardware and software communications system that enables a person to control computers (or other connected devices) through cerebral activity. Serious research into BCIs began in university laboratories in the 1970s. Considerable success has been achieved in restoring communication for persons suffering from neuromuscular disorders, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), brain stem stroke, or spinal cord injuries.

More recently, researchers and commercial groups have begun work on non-clinical applications of neurotechnology. One popular category is neurofeedback, which monitors the brain during periods of concentrated activity (such as exercise or meditation) to help users understand and refine their mental state. Other applications of neurotechnology under investigation include education, marketing, entertainment, and sleep therapy, among others.