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Computational Intelligence and Neuroscience
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 104180, 6 pages
Research Article

Discrimination of Motor Imagery-Induced EEG Patterns in Patients with Complete Spinal Cord Injury

1Laboratory of Brain-Computer Interfaces, Institute for Knowledge Discovery, Graz University of Technology, Krenngasse 37, 8010 Graz, Austria
2Rehabilitation Clinic Tobelbad, Krenngasse 37, Dr.-Georg-Neubauer-Straße 6, 144 Tobelbad, Austria

Received 30 October 2008; Accepted 11 February 2009

Academic Editor: Fabio Babiloni

Copyright © 2009 G. Pfurtscheller 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.


EEG-based discrimination between different motor imagery states has been subject of a number of studies in healthy subjects. We investigated the EEG of 15 patients with complete spinal cord injury during imagined right hand, left hand, and feet movements. In detail we studied pair-wise discrimination functions between the 3 types of motor imagery. The following classification accuracies (mean SD) were obtained: left versus right hand , left hand versus feet , and right hand versus feet . In 5 out of 8 paralegic patients, the discrimination accuracy was greater than 70% but in only 1 out of 7 tetraplagic patients. The present findings provide evidence that in the majority of paraplegic patients an EEG-based BCI could achieve satisfied results. In tetraplegic patients, however, it is expected that extensive training-sessions are necessary to achieve a good BCI performance at least in some subjects.