Jan 23, 2008
Using brain-computer communication to navigate virtual environments
Brain-computer communication: motivation, aim, and impact of exploring a virtual apartment.
IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng. 2007 Dec;15(4):473-82
Authors: 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.