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Investigation of EEG signals generated using motor imagery for application in BCIs

Grant number: 17/09451-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2017
Effective date (End): July 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal Investigator:Gabriela Castellano
Grantee:Caique de Medeiros Mendes
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

Abstract

Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) is a system that uses brain signals to manage external devices, without utilizing the natural outputs of the Central Nervous System, such as muscle control by peripheral nerves. These systems capture, process, and translate brain activity into commands that operate an application (for example, a keyboard, or a robotic arm). By providing a completely new output pathway, this technology has been exploited to assist and rehabilitate patients suffering from severe motor disabilities, such as victims of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and stroke, so that they can express themselves and interact with the environment. Electroencephalography (EEG) has been the most used technique in BCI systems to record brain activity. To generate the signals captured by the EEG, different strategies have been employed; one of them is the imagination of movement (or MI, from motor imagery). MI consists of the mental rehearsal of a motor task without its execution, and allows, in principle, triggering a BCI device based on this paradigm, the way the user wishes. However, brain signals from MI are highly variable and difficult to classify. This project aims to investigate how the brain response of users during MI happens, by analyzing a database of EEG signals in which healthy volunteers were asked to imagine the movement of their right and left hands, in order to recognize the patterns associated to this task, through a spectral evaluation of different segments (intervals) of the signal, corresponding to different moments of the execution (and/or planning) of the task. The project will be developed under the FAPESP RIDC "Brazilian Institute of Neuroscience and Neurotechnology" (BRAINN). (AU)