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A Neural Network Based Brain-Computer Interface for Classification of Movement Related EEG (Mechanical Project)

A brain-computer interface, BCI, is a technical system that allows a person to control the external world without relying on muscle activity. This project presents an EEG based BCI designed for automatic classification of two dimensional hand movements. The long-term goal of the project is to build an intuitive communication system for operation by people with severe motor impairments. If successful, such system could for example be used by a paralyzed patient to control a word processor or a wheelchair.

The developed BCI was tested in an offline pilot study. In response to an external cue, a test subject moved a joystick in one of four directions. During the movement, EEG was recorded from seven electrodes mounted on the subject’s scalp. An auto regressive model was fitted to the data, and the extracted coefficients were used as input features to a neural network based classifier. The classifier was trained to recognize the direction of the movements. During the first half of the experiment, real physical movements were performed. In the second half, subjects were instructed just to imagine the hand moving the joystick, but to avoid any muscle activity.

The results of the experiment indicate that the EEG signals do in fact contain extractable and classifiable information about the performed movements, during both physical and imagined movements.
Source: Linköping University
Author: Forslund, Pontus

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