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A vibrotactile p300-based brain-computer interface for consciousness detection and communication.

Authors
  • Lugo, Zulay R
  • Rodriguez, Javi
  • Lechner, Alexander
  • Ortner, Rupert
  • Gantner, Ithabi S
  • Laureys, Steven
  • Noirhomme, Quentin
  • Guger, Christoph
Type
Published Article
Journal
Clinical EEG and neuroscience
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2014
Volume
45
Issue
1
Pages
14–21
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/1550059413505533
PMID: 24415400
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Brain-computer interface (BCI) has been used for many years for communication in severely disabled patients. BCI based on electrophysiological signals has enabled communication, using auditory or visual stimuli to elicit event-related potentials (ERPs). The aim of this study was to determine whether patients with locked-in syndrome (LIS) could elicit a P300 wave, using a vibrotactile oddball paradigm for establishing somatosensory BCI-based communication. Six chronic LIS patients performed 2 electroencephalography (EEG)-based vibrotactile P300 oddball tasks. After a simple mental counting task of the target stimuli, participants were instructed to answer 5 questions by counting the vibration on either the right wrist for "yes" or the left wrist for "no." All participants were able to elicit a P300 wave using the vibrotactile oddball paradigm BCI task. In the counting task, 4 patients got accuracies of 100% (average above chance). In the communication task, one patient achieved 100% accuracy (average above chance). We have shown the feasibility of eliciting a P300 response using vibrotactile stimulation in patients with LIS. The present study provides evidence that this approach can be used for EEG-based BCI communications in this patient group. This is the first study to prove the feasibility of a BCI based on somatosensory (vibratory) stimulation in a group of brain-injured patients. Furthermore, this approach could be used for the detection of consciousness in non-communicating patients due to severe brain injuries.

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