Methods Towards Invasive Human Brain Computer Interfaces

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 17 (NIPS 2004)

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Thomas Lal, Thilo Hinterberger, Guido Widman, Michael Schröder, N. Hill, Wolfgang Rosenstiel, Christian Elger, Niels Birbaumer, Bernhard Schölkopf


During the last ten years there has been growing interest in the develop- ment of Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs). The field has mainly been driven by the needs of completely paralyzed patients to communicate. With a few exceptions, most human BCIs are based on extracranial elec- troencephalography (EEG). However, reported bit rates are still low. One reason for this is the low signal-to-noise ratio of the EEG [16]. We are currently investigating if BCIs based on electrocorticography (ECoG) are a viable alternative. In this paper we present the method and examples of intracranial EEG recordings of three epilepsy patients with electrode grids placed on the motor cortex. The patients were asked to repeat- edly imagine movements of two kinds, e.g., tongue or finger movements. We analyze the classifiability of the data using Support Vector Machines (SVMs) [18, 21] and Recursive Channel Elimination (RCE) [11].