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Investigation of the combined use of the techniques electroencephalography and optical spectroscopy for application in Brain-Computer Interface systems

Grant number: 13/18734-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2013
Effective date (End): October 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal Investigator:Gabriela Castellano
Grantee:Sofía Isabel Coto Guzmán
Home Institution: Instituto de Física Gleb Wataghin (IFGW). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/07559-3 - BRAINN - The Brazilian Institute of Neuroscience and Neurotechnology, AP.CEPID


Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are systems designed to use brain signals to drive external devices for both communication (e.g., keyboards) and movement (e.g., robotic arm, wheel chair) of severely disabled patients and for use in games. The brain signals used for BCI are produced using a variety of strategies, some of which are directed by external devices (e.g., P300 and SSVEP) and others in which the user is instructed to think of specific things to get certain results. The signal acquisition technique used in most BCI systems is the electroencephalography (EEG), a technique which is low cost, portable and with high temporal resolution. However, the classification of these signals for use in BCIs is not always simple, since the signals are noisy, have high variability and rely heavily on the user and the strategy in question. In order to attempt to improve the performance of BCI systems, hybrid systems that use more than one strategy and/or more than one data acquisition technique have been recently proposed. In this context, the aim of this project is to evaluate the combined use of EEG and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) in BCI systems. NIRS measures signals originating from the hemodynamic brain response - since these signals are of a different nature than the electric signals measured by EEG, they can add extra information that could assist in a better performance of a BCI system. This project will be developed under the FAPESP CEPID "Brazilian Institute of Neuroscience and Neurotechnology" (BRAINN), recently approved; and in the Neurophysics Group, of the Gleb Wataghin Physics Institute, UNICAMP.