Decoding covert somatosensory attention by a BCI system calibrated with tactile sensation
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Objective: We propose a novel calibration strategy to facilitate the decoding of covert somatosensory attention by exploring the oscillatory dynamics induced by tactile sensation. Methods: It was hypothesized that the similarity of the oscillatory pattern between stimulation sensation (SS, real sensation) and somatosensory attentional orientation (SAO) provides a way to decode covert somatic attention. Subjects were instructed to sense the tactile stimulation, which was applied to the left (SS-L) or the right (SS-R) wrist. The BCI system was calibrated with the sensation data and then applied for online SAO decoding. Results: Both SS and SAO showed oscillatory activation concentrated on the contralateral somatosensory hemisphere. Offline analysis showed that the proposed calibration method led to greater accuracy than the traditional calibration method based on SAO only. This is confirmed by online experiments, where the online accuracy on 15 subjects was 78.8±13.1%, with 12 subjects >70% and 4 subject >90%. Conclusion: By integrating the stimulus-induced oscillatory dynamics from sensory cortex, covert somatosensory attention can be reliably decoded by a BCI system calibrated with tactile sensation. Significance: Indeed, real tactile sensation is more consistent during calibration than SAO. This brain-computer interfacing approach may find application for stroke and completely locked-in patients with preserved somatic sensation.
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Lin Yao, Xinjun Sheng, Natalie Mrachacz-Kersting, Xiangyang Zhu, Dario Farina, Ning Jiang (2017). Decoding covert somatosensory attention by a BCI system calibrated with tactile sensation. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/12539