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Biol Psychol. 2006 Oct;73(3):242-52. Epub 2006 Jul 24.

A P300 event-related potential brain-computer interface (BCI): the effects of matrix size and inter stimulus interval on performance.

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Laboratory of Nervous System Disorders, Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, E1001 Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12201, USA.


We describe a study designed to assess properties of a P300 brain-computer interface (BCI). The BCI presents the user with a matrix containing letters and numbers. The user attends to a character to be communicated and the rows and columns of the matrix briefly intensify. Each time the attended character is intensified it serves as a rare event in an oddball sequence and it elicits a P300 response. The BCI works by detecting which character elicited a P300 response. We manipulated the size of the character matrix (either 3 x 3 or 6 x 6) and the duration of the inter stimulus interval (ISI) between intensifications (either 175 or 350 ms). Online accuracy was highest for the 3 x 3 matrix 175-ms ISI condition, while bit rate was highest for the 6 x 6 matrix 175-ms ISI condition. Average accuracy in the best condition for each subject was 88%. P300 amplitude was significantly greater for the attended stimulus and for the 6 x 6 matrix. This work demonstrates that matrix size and ISI are important variables to consider when optimizing a BCI system for individual users and that a P300-BCI can be used for effective communication.

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