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ISBN 9783843907477

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978-3-8439-0747-7, Reihe Ingenieurwissenschaften

Diana Alexandra Valbuena Varon
Practical Brain Computer Interfacing

166 Seiten, Dissertation Universität Bremen (2011), Hardcover, A5

Zusammenfassung / Abstract

This dissertation aims to develop faster and more reliable non-invasive BCI communication based on the study of users learning process and their interaction with the BCI transducer. To date, BCI research has focused on the development of advanced pattern recognition and classification algorithms to improve accuracy and reliability of the classified patterns. However, even with optimal detection methods, successful BCI operation depends on the degree to which the users can voluntary modulate their brain signals. Therefore, learning to operate a BCI requires repeated practice with feedback that engages learning mechanisms in the brain. In this work, several aspects including signal processing techniques, feedback methods, experimental and training protocols, demographics, and applications were explored and investigated. Research was focused on two BCI paradigms, steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEP) and event-related (de)synchronization (ERD/ERS). Signal processing algorithms for the detection of both brain patterns were applied and evaluated. A general application interface for BCI feedback tasks was developed to evaluate the practicability, reliability and acceptance of new feedback methods. The role of feedback and training was fully investigated on studies conducted with healthy subjects. The influence of demographics on BCIs was explored in two field studies with a large number of subjects. Results were supported through advanced statistical analysis. Furthermore, the BCI control was evaluated in a spelling application and a service robotic application. This dissertation demonstrates that BCIs can provide effective communication for most subjects. Presented results showed that improvements in the BCI transducer, training protocols, and feedback methods constituted the basis to achieve faster and more reliable BCI communication. Nevertheless, expert assistance is necessary for both initial configuration and daily operation, which reduces the practicability of BCIs for people who really need them.