Combined EEG-fNIRS decoding of motor attempt and imagery for brain switch control: an offline study in patients with tetraplegia

IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng. 2014 Mar;22(2):222-9. doi: 10.1109/TNSRE.2013.2292995.


Combining electrophysiological and hemodynamic features is a novel approach for improving current performance of brain switches based on sensorimotor rhythms (SMR). This study was conducted with a dual purpose: to test the feasibility of using a combined electroencephalogram/functional near-infrared spectroscopy (EEG-fNIRS) SMR-based brain switch in patients with tetraplegia, and to examine the performance difference between motor imagery and motor attempt for this user group. A general improvement was found when using both EEG and fNIRS features for classification as compared to using the single-modality EEG classifier, with average classification rates of 79% for attempted movement and 70% for imagined movement. For the control group, rates of 87% and 79% were obtained, respectively, where the "attempted movement" condition was replaced with "actual movement." A combined EEG-fNIRS system might be especially beneficial for users who lack sufficient control of current EEG-based brain switches. The average classification performance in the patient group for attempted movement was significantly higher than for imagined movement using the EEG-only as well as the combined classifier, arguing for the case of a paradigm shift in current brain switch research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain-Computer Interfaces*
  • Electroencephalography / instrumentation
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Imagination / physiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Cortex / physiology
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Quadriplegia / rehabilitation*
  • Somatosensory Cortex / physiology
  • Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared / instrumentation
  • Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared / methods*
  • User-Computer Interface