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J Neural Eng. 2008 Sep;5(3):342-9. doi: 10.1088/1741-2560/5/3/007. Epub 2008 Aug 28.

Bipolar electrode selection for a motor imagery based brain-computer interface.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, People's Republic of China.


A motor imagery based brain-computer interface (BCI) provides a non-muscular communication channel that enables people with paralysis to control external devices using their motor imagination. Reducing the number of electrodes is critical to improving the portability and practicability of the BCI system. A novel method is proposed to reduce the number of electrodes to a total of four by finding the optimal positions of two bipolar electrodes. Independent component analysis (ICA) is applied to find the source components of mu and alpha rhythms, and optimal electrodes are chosen by comparing the projection weights of sources on each channel. The results of eight subjects demonstrate the better classification performance of the optimal layout compared with traditional layouts, and the stability of this optimal layout over a one week interval was further verified.

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