Does bimodal stimulus presentation increase ERP components usable in BCIs?
van Erp, J.B.F.
Event-related potential (ERP)-based brain–computer interfaces (BCIs) employ differences in brain responses to attended and ignored stimuli. Typically, visual stimuli are used. Tactile stimuli have recently been suggested as a gaze-independent alternative. Bimodal stimuli could evoke additional brain activity due to multisensory integration which may be of use in BCIs. We investigated the effect of visual–tactile stimulus presentation on the chain of ERP components, BCI performance (classification accuracies and bitrates) and participants' task performance (counting of targets). Ten participants were instructed to navigate a visual display by attending (spatially) to targets in sequences of either visual, tactile or visual–tactile stimuli. We observe that attending to visual–tactile (compared to either visual or tactile) stimuli results in an enhanced early ERP component (N1). This bimodal N1 may enhance BCI performance, as suggested by a nonsignificant positive trend in offline classification accuracies. A late ERP component (P300) is reduced when attending to visual–tactile compared to visual stimuli, which is consistent with the nonsignificant negative trend of participants' task performance. We discuss these findings in the light of affected spatial attention at high-level compared to low-level stimulus processing. Furthermore, we evaluate bimodal BCIs from a practical perspective and for future applications
To reference this document use:
PCS - Perceptual and Cognitive Systems
BSS - Behavioural and Societal Sciences
Brain computer interface
brain computer interface
event related potential
Journal of Neural Engineering, 9 (4)