Toward a minimally invasive brain–computer interface using a single subdural channel: A visual speller study
Electrocorticography (ECoG) has attracted increasing interest for implementing advanced brain–computer interfaces (BCIs) in the past decade. However, real-life application of ECoG BCI demands mitigation of its invasive nature by minimizing both the size of the involved brain regions and the number of implanted electrodes. In this study, we employed a recently proposed BCI paradigm that utilizes the attentional modulation of visual motion response. With ECoG data collected from five epilepsy patients, power increase of the high gamma (60–140 Hz) frequency range was found to be associated with the overtly attended moving visual stimuli in the parietal-temporal-occipital junction and the occipital cortex. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were elicited as well but with broader cortical distribution. We achieved significantly higher BCI classification accuracy by employing both high gamma and ERP responses from a single ECoG electrode than by using ERP responses only (84.22 ± 5.54% vs. 75.48 ± 4.18%, p < 0.005, paired t-test, 3-trial averaging, binary results of attended vs. unattended). More importantly, the high gamma responses were located within brain regions specialized in visual motion processing as mapped by fMRI, suggesting the spatial location for electrode implantation can be determined prior to surgery using non-invasive imaging. Our findings demonstrate the feasibility of implementing a minimally invasive ECoG BCI. âº Visual motion stimuli evoke cortical high gamma ECoG response. âº ECoG high gamma feature elevates BCI performance of visual speller. âº Spatial consistency is found between ECoG and fMRI response to visual motion. âº Location of subdural BCI electrodes can be determined by fMRI before surgery. âº Feasibility of minimally invasive BCI with single subdural electrode is demonstrated.