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Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 3195373, 11 pages
Research Article

Detecting the Intention to Move Upper Limbs from Electroencephalographic Brain Signals

Tecnologico de Monterrey, Campus Guadalajara, Avenida General Ramón Corona 2514, 45201 Zapopan, JAL, Mexico

Received 24 December 2015; Accepted 21 February 2016

Academic Editor: Reza Khosrowabadi

Copyright © 2016 Berenice Gudiño-Mendoza 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.


Early decoding of motor states directly from the brain activity is essential to develop brain-machine interfaces (BMI) for natural motor control of neuroprosthetic devices. Hence, this study aimed to investigate the detection of movement information before the actual movement occurs. This information piece could be useful to provide early control signals to drive BMI-based rehabilitation and motor assisted devices, thus providing a natural and active rehabilitation therapy. In this work, electroencephalographic (EEG) brain signals from six healthy right-handed participants were recorded during self-initiated reaching movements of the upper limbs. The analysis of these EEG traces showed that significant event-related desynchronization is present before and during the execution of the movements, predominantly in the motor-related and frequency bands and in electrodes placed above the motor cortex. This oscillatory brain activity was used to continuously detect the intention to move the limbs, that is, to identify the motor phase prior to the actual execution of the reaching movement. The results showed, first, significant classification between relax and movement intention and, second, significant detection of movement intention prior to the onset of the executed movement. On the basis of these results, detection of movement intention could be used in BMI settings to reduce the gap between mental motor processes and the actual movement performed by an assisted or rehabilitation robotic device.