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Investigating Music imagery as a Cognitive Paradigm for low-Cost brain-Computer Interfaces

Lukas Großberger; Matthias R. Hohmann; Jan Peters; Moritz Grosse-Wentrup
In: Gernot R. Müller-Putz; David Steyrl; Selina C. Wriessnegger; Reinhold Scherer (Hrsg.). From Vision to Reality - Proceedings of the 7th Graz Brain-Computer Interface Conference 2017. Graz Brain-Computer Interface Conference (GBCIC-2017), September 18-22, Graz, Austria, ISBN 978-3-85125-533-1, Verlag der Technischen Universitaet Graz, 2017.


Many current brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) rely on motor imagery or oculomotor paradigms to transfer information, yet these functions are impaired in people that suffer from late stage Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Additionally, patients have limited access to cutting-edge BCI technology for home-use because the necessary, medical grade equipment is expensive and difficult to setup. We addressed both issues with the current study. First, we devised a novel paradigm that relies on music imagery and mental subtraction. We argue that these are motorindependent abilities that can be reliably executed, without the need for subject training. We find that both tasks can be distinguished after only one experimental session with a 124-channel EEG system, from the band-power in the theta (4-8 Hz) and alpha (8-13 Hz) range. Second, we tested our paradigm in combination with a low-cost EEG system to show that it can be used to develop accessible BCIs for patients in the future.

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