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IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng. 2012 May;20(3):379-88. doi: 10.1109/TNSRE.2012.2190299. Epub 2012 Apr 5.

Electroencephalography (EEG)-based brain-computer interface (BCI): a 2-D virtual wheelchair control based on event-related desynchronization/synchronization and state control.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 843067, USA.


This study aims to propose an effective and practical paradigm for a brain-computer interface (BCI)-based 2-D virtual wheelchair control. The paradigm was based on the multi-class discrimination of spatiotemporally distinguishable phenomenon of event-related desynchronization/synchronization (ERD/ERS) in electroencephalogram signals associated with motor execution/imagery of right/left hand movement. Comparing with traditional method using ERD only, where bilateral ERDs appear during left/right hand mental tasks, the 2-D control exhibited high accuracy within a short time, as incorporating ERS into the paradigm hypothetically enhanced the spatiotemoral feature contrast of ERS versus ERD. We also expected users to experience ease of control by including a noncontrol state. In this study, the control command was sent discretely whereas the virtual wheelchair was moving continuously. We tested five healthy subjects in a single visit with two sessions, i.e., motor execution and motor imagery. Each session included a 20 min calibration and two sets of games that were less than 30 min. Average target hit rate was as high as 98.4% with motor imagery. Every subject achieved 100% hit rate in the second set of wheelchair control games. The average time to hit a target 10 m away was about 59 s, with 39 s for the best set. The superior control performance in subjects without intensive BCI training suggested a practical wheelchair control paradigm for BCI users.

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