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Front Neurorobot. 2017 Jul 24;11:35. doi: 10.3389/fnbot.2017.00035. eCollection 2017.

Hybrid Brain-Computer Interface Techniques for Improved Classification Accuracy and Increased Number of Commands: A Review.

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School of Mechanical Engineering, Pusan National University, Busan, South Korea.
Department of Cogno-Mechatronics Engineering, Pusan National University, Busan, South Korea.


In this article, non-invasive hybrid brain-computer interface (hBCI) technologies for improving classification accuracy and increasing the number of commands are reviewed. Hybridization combining more than two modalities is a new trend in brain imaging and prosthesis control. Electroencephalography (EEG), due to its easy use and fast temporal resolution, is most widely utilized in combination with other brain/non-brain signal acquisition modalities, for instance, functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), electromyography (EMG), electrooculography (EOG), and eye tracker. Three main purposes of hybridization are to increase the number of control commands, improve classification accuracy and reduce the signal detection time. Currently, such combinations of EEG + fNIRS and EEG + EOG are most commonly employed. Four principal components (i.e., hardware, paradigm, classifiers, and features) relevant to accuracy improvement are discussed. In the case of brain signals, motor imagination/movement tasks are combined with cognitive tasks to increase active brain-computer interface (BCI) accuracy. Active and reactive tasks sometimes are combined: motor imagination with steady-state evoked visual potentials (SSVEP) and motor imagination with P300. In the case of reactive tasks, SSVEP is most widely combined with P300 to increase the number of commands. Passive BCIs, however, are rare. After discussing the hardware and strategies involved in the development of hBCI, the second part examines the approaches used to increase the number of control commands and to enhance classification accuracy. The future prospects and the extension of hBCI in real-time applications for daily life scenarios are provided.


classification accuracy; electroencephalography; electromyography; electrooculography; functional near infrared spectroscopy; hybrid brain–computer interface

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