In most brain computer interface (BCI) systems, some target users have significant difficulty in using BCI systems. Such target users are called ‘BCI-illiterate’. This phenomenon has been poorly investigated, and a clear understanding of the BCI-illiteracy mechanism or a solution to this problem has not been reported to date. In this study, we sought to demonstrate the neurophysiological differences between two groups (literate, illiterate) with a total of 52 subjects. We investigated recordings under non-task related state (NTS) which is collected during subject is relaxed with eyes open. We found that high theta and low alpha waves were noticeable in the BCI-illiterate relative to the BCI-literate people. Furthermore, these high theta and low alpha wave patterns were preserved across different mental states, such as NTS, resting before motor imagery (MI), and MI states, even though the spatial distribution of both BCI-illiterate and BCI-literate groups did not differ. From these findings, an effective strategy for pre-screening subjects for BCI illiteracy has been determined, and a performance factor that reflects potential user performance has been proposed using a simple combination of band powers. Our proposed performance factor gave an r = 0.59 (r2 = 0.34) in a correlation analysis with BCI performance and yielded as much as r = 0.70 (r2 = 0.50) when seven outliers were rejected during the evaluation of whole data (N = 61), including BCI competition datasets (N = 9). These findings may be directly applicable to online BCI systems.
Background:Most investigators of brain–computer interface (BCI) research believe that BCI can be achieved through induced neuronal activity from the cortex, but not by evoked neuronal activity. Motor imagery (MI)–based BCI is one of the standard concepts of BCI, in that the user can generate induced activity by imagining motor movements. However, variations in performance over sessions and subjects are too severe to overcome easily; therefore, a basic understanding and investigation of BCI performance variation is necessary to find critical evidence of performance variation. Here we present not only EEG datasets for MI BCI from 52 subjects, but also the results of a psychological and physiological questionnaire, EMG datasets, the locations of 3D EEG electrodes, and EEGs for non-task-related states.Findings:We validated our EEG datasets by using the percentage of bad trials, event-related desynchronization/synchronization (ERD/ERS) analysis, and classification analysis. After conventional rejection of bad trials, we showed contralateral ERD and ipsilateral ERS in the somatosensory area, which are well-known patterns of MI. Finally, we showed that 73.08% of datasets (38 subjects) included reasonably discriminative information.Conclusions:Our EEG datasets included the information necessary to determine statistical significance; they consisted of well-discriminated datasets (38 subjects) and less-discriminative datasets. These may provide researchers with opportunities to investigate human factors related to MI BCI performance variation, and may also achieve subject-to-subject transfer by using metadata, including a questionnaire, EEG coordinates, and EEGs for non-task-related states.
In recent years, research on Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) technology for healthy users has attracted considerable interest, and BCI games are especially popular. This study reviews the current status of, and describes future directions, in the field of BCI games. To this end, we conducted a literature search and found that BCI control paradigms using electroencephalographic signals (motor imagery, P300, steady state visual evoked potential and passive approach reading mental state) have been the primary focus of research. We also conducted a survey of nearly three hundred participants that included researchers, game developers and users around the world. From this survey, we found that all three groups (researchers, developers and users) agreed on the significant influence and applicability of BCI and BCI games, and they all selected prostheses, rehabilitation and games as the most promising BCI applications. User and developer groups tended to give low priority to passive BCI and the whole head sensor array. Developers gave higher priorities to “the easiness of playing” and the “development platform” as important elements for BCI games and the market. Based on our assessment, we discuss the critical point at which BCI games will be able to progress from their current stage to widespread marketing to consumers. In conclusion, we propose three critical elements important for expansion of the BCI game market: standards, gameplay and appropriate integration.
While brain computer interface (BCI) can be employed with patients and healthy subjects, there are problems that must be resolved before BCI can be useful to the public. In the most popular motor imagery (MI) BCI system, a significant number of target users (called “BCI-Illiterates”) cannot modulate their neuronal signals sufficiently to use the BCI system. This causes performance variability among subjects and even among sessions within a subject. The mechanism of such BCI-Illiteracy and possible solutions still remain to be determined. Gamma oscillation is known to be involved in various fundamental brain functions, and may play a role in MI. In this study, we investigated the association of gamma activity with MI performance among subjects. Ten simultaneous MEG/EEG experiments were conducted; MI performance for each was estimated by EEG data, and the gamma activity associated with BCI performance was investigated with MEG data. Our results showed that gamma activity had a high positive correlation with MI performance in the prefrontal area. This trend was also found across sessions within one subject. In conclusion, gamma rhythms generated in the prefrontal area appear to play a critical role in BCI performance.
Performance variation is a critical issue in motor imagery brain–computer interface (MI-BCI), and various neurophysiological, psychological, and anatomical correlates have been reported in the literature. Although the main aim of such studies is to predict MI-BCI performance for the prescreening of poor performers, studies which focus on the user’s sense of the motor imagery process and directly estimate MI-BCI performance through the user’s self-prediction are lacking. In this study, we first test each user’s self-prediction idea regarding motor imagery experimental datasets. Fifty-two subjects participated in a classical, two-class motor imagery experiment and were asked to evaluate their easiness with motor imagery and to predict their own MI-BCI performance. During the motor imagery experiment, an electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded; however, no feedback on motor imagery was given to subjects. From EEG recordings, the offline classification accuracy was estimated and compared with several questionnaire scores of subjects, as well as with each subject’s self-prediction of MI-BCI performance. The subjects’ performance predictions during motor imagery task showed a high positive correlation (r = 0.64, p < 0.01). Interestingly, it was observed that the self-prediction became more accurate as the subjects conducted more motor imagery tasks in the Correlation coefficient (pre-task to 2nd run: r = 0.02 to r = 0.54, p < 0.01) and root mean square error (pre-task to 3rd run: 17.7% to 10%, p < 0.01). We demonstrated that subjects may accurately predict their MI-BCI performance even without feedback information. This implies that the human brain is an active learning system and, by self-experiencing the endogenous motor imagery process, it can sense and adopt the quality of the process. Thus, it is believed that users may be able to predict MI-BCI performance and results may contribute to a better understanding of low performance and advancing BCI.
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