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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Design of a self-paced brain computer interface system using features extracted from three neurological phenomena Fatourechi, Mehrdad


Self-paced Brain computer interface (SBCI) systems allow individuals with motor disabilities to use their brain signals to control devices, whenever they wish. These systems are required to identify the user’s “intentional control (IC)” commands and they must remain inactive during all periods in which users do not intend control (called “no control (NC)” periods). This dissertation addresses three issues related to the design of SBCI systems: 1) their presently high false positive (FP) rates, 2) the presence of artifacts and 3) the identification of a suitable evaluation metric. To improve the performance of SBCI systems, the following are proposed: 1) a method for the automatic user-customization of a 2-state SBCI system, 2) a two-stage feature reduction method for selecting wavelet coefficients extracted from movement-related potentials (MRP), 3) an SBCI system that classifies features extracted from three neurological phenomena: MRPs, changes in the power of the Mu and Beta rhythms; 4) a novel method that effectively combines methods developed in 2) and 3 ) and 5) generalizing the system developed in 3) for detecting a right index finger flexion to detecting the right hand extension. Results of these studies using actual movements show an average true positive (TP) rate of 56.2% at the FP rate of 0.14% for the finger flexion study and an average TP rate of 33.4% at the FP rate of 0.12% for the hand extension study. These FP results are significantly lower than those achieved in other SBCI systems, where FP rates vary between 1-10%. We also conduct a comprehensive survey of the BCI literature. We demonstrate that many BCI papers do not properly deal with artifacts. We show that the proposed BCI achieves a good performance of TP=51.8% and FP=0.4% in the presence of eye movement artifacts. Further tests of the performance of the proposed system in a pseudo-online environment, shows an average TP rate =48.8% at the FP rate of 0.8%. Finally, we propose a framework for choosing a suitable evaluation metric for SBCI systems. This framework shows that Kappa coefficient is more suitable than other metrics in evaluating the performance during the model selection procedure.

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