Complete locked-in and locked-in patients: Command following assessment and communication with vibro-tactile P300 and motor imagery brain-computer interface tools

Vincenzo La Bella, Rupert Ortner, Woosang Cho, Christoph Guger, Alexander Heilinger, Brendan Z. Allison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many patients with locked-in syndrome (LIS) or complete locked-in syndrome (CLIS) also need brain-computer interface (BCI) platforms that do not rely on visual stimuli and are easy to use. We investigate command following and communication functions of mindBEAGLE with 9 LIS, 3 CLIS patients and three healthy controls. This tests were done with vibro-tactile stimulation with 2 or 3 stimulators (VT2 and VT3 mode) and with motor imagery (MI) paradigms. In VT2 the stimulators are fixed on the left and right wrist and the participant has the task to count the stimuli on the target hand in order to elicit a P300 response. In VT3 mode an additional stimulator is placed as a distractor on the shoulder and the participant is counting stimuli either on the right or left hand. In motor imagery mode the participant is instructed to imagine left or right hand movement. VT3 and MI also allow the participant to answer yes and no questions. Healthy controls achieved a mean assessment accuracy of 100% in VT2, 93% in VT3, and 73% in MI modes. They were able to communicate with VT3 (86.7%) and MI (83.3%) after 2 training runs. The patients achieved a mean accuracy of 76.6% in VT2, 63.1% in VT3, and 58.2% in MI modes after 1-2 training runs. 9 out of 12 LIS patients could communicate by using the vibro-tactile P300 paradigms (answered on average 8 out of 10 questions correctly) and 3 out of 12 could communicate with the motor imagery paradigm(answered correctly 4,7 out of 5 questions). 2 out of the 3 CLIS patients could use the system to communicate with VT3 (90 and 70% accuracy). The results show that paradigms based on non-visual evoked potentials and motor imagery can be effective for these users. It is also the first study that showed EEG-based BCI communication with CLIS patients and was able to bring 9 out of 12 patients to communicate with higher accuracies than reported before. More importantly this was achieved within less than 15-20 min.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Volume11
Publication statusPublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience

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