Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Front Neurosci. 2013 Mar 7;7:23. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2013.00023. eCollection 2013.

Semantic classical conditioning and brain-computer interface control: encoding of affirmative and negative thinking.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, University of Tübingen Tübingen, Germany.


The aim of the study was to investigate conditioned electroencephalography (EEG) responses to factually correct and incorrect statements in order to enable binary communication by means of a brain-computer interface (BCI). In two experiments with healthy participants true and false statements (serving as conditioned stimuli, CSs) were paired with two different tones which served as unconditioned stimuli (USs). The features of the USs were varied and tested for their effectiveness to elicit differentiable conditioned reactions (CRs). After acquisition of the CRs, these CRs to true and false statements were classified offline using a radial basis function kernel support vector machine. A mean single-trial classification accuracy of 50.5% was achieved for differentiating conditioned "yes" versus "no" thinking and mean accuracies of 65.4% for classification of "yes" and 68.8% for "no" thinking (both relative to baseline) were found using the best US. Analysis of the area under the curve of the conditioned EEG responses revealed significant differences between conditioned "yes" and "no" answers. Even though improvements are necessary, these first results indicate that the semantic conditioning paradigm could be a useful basis for further research regarding BCI communication in patients in the complete locked-in state.


EEG; auditory; brain communication; brain-computer interface; classical conditioning; semantic conditioning

Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Frontiers Media SA Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk