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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 797128, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/797128
Research Article

Feasibility of a Hybrid Brain-Computer Interface for Advanced Functional Electrical Therapy

1School of Electrical Engineering, University of Belgrade, 11120 Belgrade, Serbia
2Tecnalia Serbia Ltd., 11120 Belgrade, Serbia

Received 30 August 2013; Accepted 12 November 2013; Published 27 January 2014

Academic Editors: N. Nakhostin Ansari and W. Schupp

Copyright © 2014 Andrej M. Savić 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.

Abstract

We present a feasibility study of a novel hybrid brain-computer interface (BCI) system for advanced functional electrical therapy (FET) of grasp. FET procedure is improved with both automated stimulation pattern selection and stimulation triggering. The proposed hybrid BCI comprises the two BCI control signals: steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEP) and event-related desynchronization (ERD). The sequence of the two stages, SSVEP-BCI and ERD-BCI, runs in a closed-loop architecture. The first stage, SSVEP-BCI, acts as a selector of electrical stimulation pattern that corresponds to one of the three basic types of grasp: palmar, lateral, or precision. In the second stage, ERD-BCI operates as a brain switch which activates the stimulation pattern selected in the previous stage. The system was tested in 6 healthy subjects who were all able to control the device with accuracy in a range of 0.64–0.96. The results provided the reference data needed for the planned clinical study. This novel BCI may promote further restoration of the impaired motor function by closing the loop between the “will to move” and contingent temporally synchronized sensory feedback.