Evaluation of a 2-Channel NIRS-Based Optical Brain Switch for Motor Disabilities' Communication Tools

Kazuhiko SAGARA  Kunihiko KIDO  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E95-D   No.3   pp.829-834
Publication Date: 2012/03/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.E95.D.829
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology
brain-computer interface (BCI),  brain switch,  near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS),  

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We have developed a portable NIRS-based optical BCI system that features a non-invasive, facile probe attachment and does not require muscle movement to control the target devices. The system consists of a 2-channel probe, a signal-processing unit, and an infrared-emission device, which measures the blood volume change in the participant's prefrontal cortex in a real time. We use the threshold logic as a switching technology, which transmits a control signal to a target device when the electrical waveforms exceed the pre-defined threshold. Eight healthy volunteers participated in the experiments and they could change the television channel or control the movement of a toy robot with average switching times of 11.5 ± 5.3 s and the hit rate was 83.3%. These trials suggest that this system provides a novel communication aid for people with motor disabilities.