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BCI Demographics II: How Many (and What Kinds of) People Can Use a High-Frequency SSVEP BCI?

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5 Author(s)
Volosyak, I. ; Inst. of Autom., Univ. of Bremen, Bremen, Germany ; Valbuena, D. ; Luth, T. ; Malechka, T.
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Brain-computer interface (BCI) systems use brain activity as an input signal and enable communication without movement. This study is a successor of our previous study (BCI demographics I) and examines correlations among BCI performance, personal preferences, and different subject factors such as age or gender for two sets of steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) stimuli: one in the medium frequency range (13, 14, 15 and 16 Hz) and another in the high-frequency range (34, 36,38, 40 Hz). High-frequency SSVEPs (above 30 Hz) diminish user fatigue and risk of photosensitive epileptic seizures. Results showed that most people, despite having no prior BCI experience, could use the SSVEP-based Bremen-BCI system in a very noisy field setting at a fair. Results showed that demographic parameters as well as handedness, tiredness, alcohol and caffeine consumption, etc., have no significant effect on the performance of SSVEP-based BCI. Most subjects did not consider the flickering stimuli annoying, only five out of total 86 participants indicated change in fatigue during the experiment. 84 subjects performed with a mean information transfer rate of 17.24 ± 6.99 bit/min and an accuracy of 92.26 ± 7.82% with the medium frequency set, whereas only 56 subjects performed with a mean information transfer rate of 12.10 ± 7.31 bit/min and accuracy of 89.16 ± 9.29% with the high-frequency set. These and other demographic analyses may help identify the best BCI for each user.

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Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 3 )