Comparing tactile and visual gaze-independent brain-computer interfaces in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and healthy users
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SourceClinical Neurophysiology, 125, 11, (2014), pp. 2297-2304
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC AI
SubjectCognitive artificial intelligence; DI-BCB_DCC_Theme 4: Brain Networks and Neuronal Communication
OBJECTIVE: Brain-computer interfaces (BCI) tested in patients often are gaze-dependent, while these intended users could possibly lose the ability to focus their gaze. Therefore, a visual and a tactile gaze-independent spelling system were investigated. METHODS: Five patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) tested a visual Hex-o-Spell and a tactile speller. Six healthy participants were also included, mainly to evaluate the tactile stimulators. RESULTS: A significant attentional modulation was seen in the P300 for the Hex-o-Spell and in the N2 for the tactile speller. Average on-line classification performance for selecting a step in the speller was above chance level (17%) for both spellers. However, average performance was higher for the Hex-o-Spell (88% and 85% for healthy participants and patients, respectively) than for the tactile speller (56% and 53%, respectively). Likewise, bitrates were higher for the Hex-o-Spell compared with the tactile speller, and in the subjective usability a preference for the Hex-o-Spell was found. CONCLUSIONS: The Hex-o-Spell outperformed the tactile speller in classification performance, bit rate and subjective usability. SIGNIFICANCE: This is the first study showing the possible use of tactile and visual gaze-independent BCI spelling systems by ALS patients with mild to moderate disabilities.
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