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Effects of Stimulus Type and of Error-Correcting Code Design on BCI Speller Performance
Jeremy Hill · Jason Farquhar · Suzanne Martens · Felix Bießmann · Bernhard Schölkopf

Tue Dec 09 07:30 PM -- 12:00 AM (PST) @

From an information-theoretic perspective, a noisy transmission system such as a visual Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) speller could benefit from the use of error-correcting codes. However, optimizing the code solely according to the maximal minimum-Hamming-distance criterion tends to lead to an overall increase in target frequency of target stimuli, and hence a significantly reduced average target-to-target interval (TTI), leading to difficulties in classifying the individual event-related potentials (ERPs) due to overlap and refractory effects. Clearly any change to the stimulus setup must also respect the possible psychophysiological consequences. Here we report new EEG data from experiments in which we explore stimulus types and codebooks in a within-subject design, finding an interaction between the two factors. Our data demonstrate that the traditional, row-column code has particular spatial properties that lead to better performance than one would expect from its TTIs and Hamming-distances alone, but nonetheless error-correcting codes can improve performance provided the right stimulus type is used.

Author Information

Jeremy Hill (Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics)
Jason Farquhar (Max-Planck Institute, Tuebingen)
Suzanne Martens (MPI for Biological Cybernetics)
Felix Bießmann (Berlin Institute of Technology)
Bernhard Schölkopf (MPI for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen)

Bernhard Scholkopf received degrees in mathematics (London) and physics (Tubingen), and a doctorate in computer science from the Technical University Berlin. He has researched at AT&T Bell Labs, at GMD FIRST, Berlin, at the Australian National University, Canberra, and at Microsoft Research Cambridge (UK). In 2001, he was appointed scientific member of the Max Planck Society and director at the MPI for Biological Cybernetics; in 2010 he founded the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems. For further information, see www.kyb.tuebingen.mpg.de/~bs.

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