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Complex-Valued Spatial Filters for SSVEP-Based BCIs With Phase Coding

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3 Author(s)
Owen Falzon ; Centre for Biomedical Cybernetics , University of Malta, Msida, Malta ; Kenneth Camilleri ; Joseph Muscat

Brain–computer interface (BCI) systems based on steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) have gained considerable popularity because of the robustness and high information transfer rate these can provide. Typical SSVEP setups make use of visual targets flashing at different frequencies, where a user’s choice is determined from the SSVEPs elicited by the user gazing at a specific target. The range of stimulus frequencies available for such setups is limited by a variety of factors, including the strength of the evoked potentials as well as user comfort and safety with light stimuli flashing at those frequencies. One way to tackle this limitation is by introducing targets flickering at the same frequency but with different phases. In this paper, we propose the use of the analytic common spatial patterns (ACSPs) method to discriminate between phase coded SSVEP targets, and we demonstrate that the complex-valued spatial filters used for discrimination can exceed the performance of existing techniques. Furthermore, the ACSP method also yields a set of spatial patterns, separable into amplitude and phase components, that provide insight into the underlying brain activity.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering  (Volume:59 ,  Issue: 9 )