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Long-Term Stable Control of Motor-Imagery BCI by a Locked-in User Through Adaptive Assistance

  • Authors: Saeedi, Sareh; Chavarriaga, Ricardo; Millán, José del R.

Performance variation is one of the main challenges that BCIs are confronted with, when being used over extended periods of time. Shared control techniques could partially cope with such a problem. In this paper, we propose a taxonomy of shared control approaches used for BCIs and we review some of the recent studies at the light of these approaches. We posit that the level of assistance provided to the BCI user should be adjusted in real time in order to enhance BCI reliability over time. This approach has not been extensively studied in the recent literature on BCIs. In addition, we investigate the effectiveness of providing online adaptive assistance in a motor-imagery BCI for a tetraplegic enduser with an incomplete locked-in syndrome in a longitudinal study lasting 11 months. First, we report a reliable estimation of the BCI performance (in terms of command delivery time) using only a window of 1 s in the beginning of trials (AUC 0:8). Second, we demonstrate how adaptive shared control can exploit the output of the performance estimator to adjust online the level of assistance in a BCI game by regulating its speed. In particular, online adaptive assistance was superior to a fixed condition in terms of success rate (p < 0:01). Remarkably, the results exhibited a stable performance over several months without recalibration of the BCI classifier or the performance estimator.

Posted on: January 2, 2017