Jan 09, 2008
Brain–Computer Communication: Motivation, Aim, and Impact of Exploring a Virtual Apartment
Leeb, R. Lee, F. Keinrath, C. Scherer, R. Bischof, H. Pfurtscheller, G.
The step away from a synchronized or cue-based brain–computer interface (BCI) and from laboratory conditions towards real world applications is very important and crucial in BCI research. This work shows that ten naive subjects can be trained in a synchronous paradigm within three sessions to navigate freely through a virtual apartment, whereby at every junction the subjects could decide by their own, how they wanted to explore the virtual environment (VE). This virtual apartment was designed similar to a real world application, with a goal-oriented task, a high mental workload, and a variable decision period for the subject. All subjects were able to perform long and stable motor imagery over a minimum time of 2 s. Using only three electroencephalogram (EEG) channels to analyze these imaginations, we were able to convert them into navigation commands. Additionally, it could be demonstrated that motivation is a very crucial factor in BCI research; motivated subjects perform much better than unmotivated ones.