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Motor imagery induced EEG patterns in spinal cord injury patients and their impact on Brain-Computer Interface accuracy

Mueller-Putz, G., Daly, I. and Kaiser, V. (2014) Motor imagery induced EEG patterns in spinal cord injury patients and their impact on Brain-Computer Interface accuracy. Journal of Neural Engineering, 11 (3). 035011. ISSN 1741-2560

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1088/1741-2560/11/3/035011


OBJECTIVE: Assimilating the diagnosis complete spinal cord injury (SCI) takes time and is not easy, as patients know that there is no 'cure' at the present time. Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) can facilitate daily living. However, inter-subject variability demands measurements with potential user groups and an understanding of how they differ to healthy users BCIs are more commonly tested with. Thus, a three-class motor imagery (MI) screening (left hand, right hand, feet) was performed with a group of 10 able-bodied and 16 complete spinal-cord-injured people (paraplegics, tetraplegics) with the objective of determining what differences were present between the user groups and how they would impact upon the ability of these user groups to interact with a BCI. APPROACH: Electrophysiological differences between patient groups and healthy users are measured in terms of sensorimotor rhythm deflections from baseline during MI, electroencephalogram microstate scalp maps and strengths of inter-channel phase synchronization. Additionally, using a common spatial pattern algorithm and a linear discriminant analysis classifier, the classification accuracy was calculated and compared between groups. MAIN RESULTS: It is seen that both patient groups (tetraplegic and paraplegic) have some significant differences in event-related desynchronization strengths, exhibit significant increases in synchronization and reach significantly lower accuracies (mean (M) = 66.1%) than the group of healthy subjects (M = 85.1%). SIGNIFICANCE: The results demonstrate significant differences in electrophysiological correlates of motor control between healthy individuals and those individuals who stand to benefit most from BCI technology (individuals with SCI). They highlight the difficulty in directly translating results from healthy subjects to participants with SCI and the challenges that, therefore, arise in providing BCIs to such individuals.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Department of Bio-Engineering
ID Code:40607

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