On the suitability of near-infrared (NIR) systems for next-generation brain-computer interfaces

Coyle, Shirley and Ward, Tomas E. and Markham, Charles and McDarby, Gary (2004) On the suitability of near-infrared (NIR) systems for next-generation brain-computer interfaces. Physiological Measurement, 25 (4). pp. 815-822.

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A brain–computer interface (BCI) gives those suffering from neuromuscular impairments a means to interact and communicate with their surrounding environment. A BCI translates physiological signals, typically electrical, detected from the brain to control an output device. A significant problem with current BCIs is the lengthy training periods involved for proficient usage, which can often lead to frustration and anxiety on the part of the user. Ultimately this can lead to abandonment of the device. The primary reason for this is that relatively indirect measures of cognitive function, as can be gleaned from the electroencephalogram (EEG), are harnessed. A more suitable and usable interface would need to measure cognitive function more directly. In order to do this, new measurement modalities, signal acquisition and processing, and translation algorithms need to be addressed. In this paper, we propose a novel approach, using non-invasive near-infrared imaging technology to develop a user-friendly optical BCI. As an alternative to the traditional EEGbased devices, we have used practical non-invasive optical techniques to detect characteristic haemodynamic responses due to motor imagery and consequently created an accessible BCI that is simple to attach and requires little user training.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: brain–computer interface, near-infrared technology, functional brain imaging, motor imagery
Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Electronic Engineering
Item ID: 1370
Depositing User: Dr Tomas Ward
Date Deposited: 14 May 2009 14:11
Journal or Publication Title: Physiological Measurement
Publisher: Institute of Physics
Refereed: Yes

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