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Computational Intelligence and Neuroscience
Volume 2007, Article ID 23864, 11 pages
Research Article

EEG-Based Brain-Computer Interface for Tetraplegics

1Laboratory of Computational Engineering, Helsinki University of Technology, Helsinki 00280, Finland
2Robotics Research Group, Department of Engineering Science, Oxford University, Oxford OX1 3PJ, UK
3ORTON Orthopaedic Hospital, Invalid Foundation, Helsinki 00280, Finland
4Käpylä Rehabilitation Centre, Finnish Association of People with Mobility Disabilities, Helsinki 00251, Finland

Received 16 February 2007; Revised 8 June 2007; Accepted 2 August 2007

Academic Editor: Shangkai Gao

Copyright © 2007 Laura Kauhanen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Movement-disabled persons typically require a long practice time to learn how to use a brain-computer interface (BCI). Our aim was to develop a BCI which tetraplegic subjects could control only in 30 minutes. Six such subjects (level of injury C4-C5) operated a 6-channel EEG BCI. The task was to move a circle from the centre of the computer screen to its right or left side by attempting visually triggered right- or left-hand movements. During the training periods, the classifier was adapted to the user's EEG activity after each movement attempt in a supervised manner. Feedback of the performance was given immediately after starting the BCI use. Within the time limit, three subjects learned to control the BCI. We believe that fast initial learning is an important factor that increases motivation and willingness to use BCIs. We have previously tested a similar single-trial classification approach in healthy subjects. Our new results show that methods developed and tested with healthy subjects do not necessarily work as well as with motor-disabled patients. Therefore, it is important to use motor-disabled persons as subjects in BCI development.