Emulation of computer mouse control with a noninvasive brain-computer interface.

TitleEmulation of computer mouse control with a noninvasive brain-computer interface.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsMcFarland, DJ, Krusienski, DJ, Sarnacki, WA, Wolpaw, J
JournalJournal of neural engineering
Date Published06/2008
KeywordsUser-Computer Interface

Brain-computer interface (BCI) technology can provide nonmuscular communication and control to people who are severely paralyzed. BCIs can use noninvasive or invasive techniques for recording the brain signals that convey the user's commands. Although noninvasive BCIs are used for simple applications, it has frequently been assumed that only invasive BCIs, which use electrodes implanted in the brain, will be able to provide multidimensional sequential control of a robotic arm or a neuroprosthesis. The present study shows that a noninvasive BCI using scalp-recorded electroencephalographic (EEG) activity and an adaptive algorithm can provide people, including people with spinal cord injuries, with two-dimensional cursor movement and target selection. Multiple targets were presented around the periphery of a computer screen, with one designated as the correct target. The user's task was to use EEG to move a cursor from the center of the screen to the correct target and then to use an additional EEG feature to select the target. If the cursor reached an incorrect target, the user was instructed not to select it. Thus, this task emulated the key features of mouse operation. The results indicate that people with severe motor disabilities could use brain signals for sequential multidimensional movement and selection.


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