SourceJournal of Neural Engineering, 9, 4, (2012), pp. art. nr.-045002, article 045002
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC AI
Journal of Neural Engineering
p. art. nr.
SubjectCognitive artificial intelligence; DI-BCB_DCC_Theme 4: Brain Networks and Neuronal Communication
In this study, a tactile speller was developed and compared with existing visual speller paradigms in terms of classification performance and elicited event-related potentials (ERPs). The fingertips of healthy participants were stimulated with short mechanical taps while electroencephalographic activity was measured. The letters of the alphabet were allocated to different fingers and subjects could select one of the fingers by silently counting the number of taps on that finger. The offline and online performance of the tactile speller was compared to the overt and covert attention visual matrix speller and the covert attention Hex-o-Spell speller. For the tactile speller, binary target versus non-target classification accuracy was 67% on average. Classification and decoding accuracies of the tactile speller were lower than the overt matrix speller, but higher than the covert matrix speller, and similar to Hex-o-Spell. The average maximum information transfer rate of the tactile speller was 7.8 bits min−1 (1.51 char min−1), with the best subject reaching a bit-rate of 27 bits min−1 (5.22 char min−1). An increased amplitude of the P300 ERP component was found in response to attended stimuli versus unattended stimuli in all speller types. In addition, the tactile and overt matrix spellers also used the N2 component for discriminating between targets and non-targets. Overall, this study shows that it is possible to use a tactile speller for communication. The tactile speller provides a useful alternative to the visual speller, especially for people whose eye gaze is impaired.
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- Faculty of Social Sciences 
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