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This special issue of the IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering provides a representative and comprehensive bird's-eye view of the most recent developments in brain–computer interface (BCI) technology from laboratories around the world. The 30 research communications and papers are the direct outcome of the Third International Meeting on Brain–Computer Interface Technology held at the Rensselaerville Institute, Rensselaerville, NY, in June 2005. Fifty-three research groups from North and South America, Europe, and Asia, representing the majority of all the existing BCI laboratories around the world, participated in this highly focused meeting sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and organized by the BCI Laboratory of the Wadsworth Center of the New York State Department of Health. As demonstrated by the papers in this special issue, the rapid advances in BCI research and development make this technology capable of providing communication and control to people severely disabled by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), brainstem stroke, cerebral palsy, and other neuromuscular disorders. Future work is expected to improve the performance and utility of BCIs, and to focus increasingly on making them a viable, practical, and affordable communication alternative for many thousands of severely disabled people worldwide.