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PLoS One. 2014 Jul 29;9(7):e102693. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102693. eCollection 2014.

Collaborative brain-computer interface for aiding decision-making.

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Brain-Computer Interfaces Lab, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, University of Essex, Colchester, United Kingdom.


We look at the possibility of integrating the percepts from multiple non-communicating observers as a means of achieving better joint perception and better group decisions. Our approach involves the combination of a brain-computer interface with human behavioural responses. To test ideas in controlled conditions, we asked observers to perform a simple matching task involving the rapid sequential presentation of pairs of visual patterns and the subsequent decision as whether the two patterns in a pair were the same or different. We recorded the response times of observers as well as a neural feature which predicts incorrect decisions and, thus, indirectly indicates the confidence of the decisions made by the observers. We then built a composite neuro-behavioural feature which optimally combines the two measures. For group decisions, we uses a majority rule and three rules which weigh the decisions of each observer based on response times and our neural and neuro-behavioural features. Results indicate that the integration of behavioural responses and neural features can significantly improve accuracy when compared with the majority rule. An analysis of event-related potentials indicates that substantial differences are present in the proximity of the response for correct and incorrect trials, further corroborating the idea of using hybrids of brain-computer interfaces and traditional strategies for improving decision making.

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