Eyes-closed hybrid brain-computer interface employing frontal brain activation

Jaeyoung Shin, Klaus Robert Müller, Han Jeong Hwang

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) have been studied extensively in order to establish a non-muscular communication channel mainly for patients with impaired motor functions. However, many limitations remain for BCIs in clinical use. In this study, we propose a hybrid BCI that is based on only frontal brain areas and can be operated in an eyes-closed state for end users with impaired motor and declining visual functions. In our experiment, electroencephalography (EEG) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) were simultaneously measured while 12 participants performed mental arithmetic (MA) and remained relaxed (baseline state: BL). To evaluate the feasibility of the hybrid BCI, we classified MA- from BL-related brain activation. We then compared classification accuracies using two unimodal BCIs (EEG and NIRS) and the hybrid BCI in an offline mode. The classification accuracy of the hybrid BCI (83.9 ± 10.3%) was shown to be significantly higher than those of unimodal EEG-based (77.3 ± 15.9%) and NIRS-based BCI (75.9 ± 6.3%). The analytical results confirmed performance improvement with the hybrid BCI, particularly for only frontal brain areas. Our study shows that an eyes-closed hybrid BCI approach based on frontal areas could be applied to neurodegenerative patients who lost their motor functions, including oculomotor functions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0196359
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018 May

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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