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IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng. 2008 Apr;16(2):121-30. doi: 10.1109/TNSRE.2007.912816.

An adaptive P300-based online brain-computer interface.

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University of Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany.


The P300 component of an event related potential is widely used in conjunction with brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) to translate the subjects intent by mere thoughts into commands to control artificial devices. A well known application is the spelling of words while selection of the letters is carried out by focusing attention to the target letter. In this paper, we present a P300-based online BCI which reaches very competitive performance in terms of information transfer rates. In addition, we propose an online method that optimizes information transfer rates and/or accuracies. This is achieved by an algorithm which dynamically limits the number of subtrial presentations, according to the subject's current online performance in real-time. We present results of two studies based on 19 different healthy subjects in total who participated in our experiments (seven subjects in the first and 12 subjects in the second one). In the first, study peak information transfer rates up to 92 bits/min with an accuracy of 100% were achieved by one subject with a mean of 32 bits/min at about 80% accuracy. The second experiment employed a dynamic classifier which enables the user to optimize bitrates and/or accuracies by limiting the number of subtrial presentations according to the current online performance of the subject. At the fastest setting, mean information transfer rates could be improved to 50.61 bits/min (i.e., 13.13 symbols/min). The most accurate results with 87.5% accuracy showed a transfer rate of 29.35 bits/min.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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