Error-related electrocorticographic activity in humans during continuous movements

J Neural Eng. 2012 Apr;9(2):026007. doi: 10.1088/1741-2560/9/2/026007. Epub 2012 Feb 13.


Brain-machine interface (BMI) devices make errors in decoding. Detecting these errors online from neuronal activity can improve BMI performance by modifying the decoding algorithm and by correcting the errors made. Here, we study the neuronal correlates of two different types of errors which can both be employed in BMI: (i) the execution error, due to inaccurate decoding of the subjects' movement intention; (ii) the outcome error, due to not achieving the goal of the movement. We demonstrate that, in electrocorticographic (ECoG) recordings from the surface of the human brain, strong error-related neural responses (ERNRs) for both types of errors can be observed. ERNRs were present in the low and high frequency components of the ECoG signals, with both signal components carrying partially independent information. Moreover, the observed ERNRs can be used to discriminate between error types, with high accuracy (≥83%) obtained already from single electrode signals. We found ERNRs in multiple cortical areas, including motor and somatosensory cortex. As the motor cortex is the primary target area for recording control signals for a BMI, an adaptive motor BMI utilizing these error signals may not require additional electrode implants in other brain areas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Electrodes
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Electromyography
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology
  • Epilepsy / surgery
  • Female
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Cortex / physiology
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Online Systems
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Signal-To-Noise Ratio
  • Somatosensory Cortex / physiology
  • User-Computer Interface*
  • Video Games