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J Neural Eng. 2011 Feb;8(1):016001. doi: 10.1088/1741-2560/8/1/016001. Epub 2011 Jan 19.

A robust sensor-selection method for P300 brain-computer interfaces.

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GIPSA-Lab CNRS UMR 5216, Grenoble Universitié, F-38402 Saint Martin d'Hères, France.


A brain-computer interface (BCI) is a specific type of human-computer interface that enables direct communication between human and computer through decoding of brain activity. As such, event-related potentials like the P300 can be obtained with an oddball paradigm whose targets are selected by the user. This paper deals with methods to reduce the needed set of EEG sensors in the P300 speller application. A reduced number of sensors yields more comfort for the user, decreases installation time duration, may substantially reduce the financial cost of the BCI setup and may reduce the power consumption for wireless EEG caps. Our new approach to select relevant sensors is based on backward elimination using a cost function based on the signal to signal-plus-noise ratio, after some spatial filtering. We show that this cost function selects sensors' subsets that provide a better accuracy in the speller recognition rate during the test sessions than selected subsets based on classification accuracy. We validate our selection strategy on data from 20 healthy subjects.

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