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A gaze independent brain-computer interface based on visual stimulation through closed eyelids

Hwang, Han-Jeong, Ferreria, Valeria Y., Ulrich, Daniel, Kilic, Tayfun, Chatziliadis, Xenofon, Blankertz, Benjamin and Treder, Matthias 2015. A gaze independent brain-computer interface based on visual stimulation through closed eyelids. Scientific Reports 5 , 15890. 10.1038/srep15890

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A classical brain-computer interface (BCI) based on visual event-related potentials (ERPs) is of limited application value for paralyzed patients with severe oculomotor impairments. In this study, we introduce a novel gaze independent BCI paradigm that can be potentially used for such end-users because visual stimuli are administered on closed eyelids. The paradigm involved verbally presented questions with 3 possible answers. Online BCI experiments were conducted with twelve healthy subjects, where they selected one option by attending to one of three different visual stimuli. It was confirmed that typical cognitive ERPs can be evidently modulated by the attention of a target stimulus in eyes-closed and gaze independent condition, and further classified with high accuracy during online operation (74.58% ± 17.85 s.d.; chance level 33.33%), demonstrating the effectiveness of the proposed novel visual ERP paradigm. Also, stimulus-specific eye movements observed during stimulation were verified as reflex responses to light stimuli, and they did not contribute to classification. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to show the possibility of using a gaze independent visual ERP paradigm in an eyes-closed condition, thereby providing another communication option for severely locked-in patients suffering from complex ocular dysfunctions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Computer Science & Informatics
Additional Information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material.
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 2045-2322
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 October 2018
Date of Acceptance: 5 October 2015
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2020 16:00

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