IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering

An improved P300-based brain-computer interface

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A brain-computer interface (BCI) is a system for direct communication between brain and computer. The BCI developed in this work is based on a BCI described by Farwell and Donchin in 1988, which allows a subject to communicate one of 36 symbols presented on a 6 × 6 matrix. The system exploits the P300 component of event-related brain potentials (ERP) as a medium for communication. The processing methods distinguish this work from Donchin's work. In this work, independent component analysis (ICA) was used to separate the P300 source from the background noise. A matched filter was used together with averaging and threshold techniques for detecting the existence of P300s. The processing method was evaluated offline on data recorded from six healthy subjects. The method achieved a communication rate of 5.45 symbols/min with an accuracy of 92.1% compared to 4.8 symbols/min with an accuracy of 90% in Donchin's work. The online interface was tested with the same six subjects. The average communication rate achieved was 4.5 symbols/min with an accuracy of 79.5% as apposed to the 4.8 symbols/min with an accuracy of 56% in Donchin's work. The presented BCI achieves excellent performance compared to other existing BCIs, and allows a reasonable communication rate, while maintaining a low error rate. © 2005 IEEE.