Principles of a Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) Based on Real-Time Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)

Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.
IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering (Impact Factor: 2.23). 07/2004; 51(6):966-70. DOI: 10.1109/TBME.2004.827063
Source: IEEE Xplore

ABSTRACT A brain-computer interface (BCI) based on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) records noninvasively activity of the entire brain with a high spatial resolution. We present a fMRI-based BCI which performs data processing and feedback of the hemodynamic brain activity within 1.3 s. Using this technique, differential feedback and self-regulation is feasible as exemplified by the supplementary motor area (SMA) and parahippocampal place area (PPA). Technical and experimental aspects are discussed with respect to neurofeedback. The methodology now allows for studying behavioral effects and strategies of local self-regulation in healthy and diseased subjects.

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Available from: Wolfgang Grodd, Aug 31, 2015
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    • "People can use a BCI to interact with their environments even if they have limited or no muscle control. Various data acquisition techniques like electroencephalography (EEG) (Wolpaw et al., 2002), electrocorticography (ECoG) (Leuthardt et al., 2004), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) (Weiskopf et al., 2004), and near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) (Coyle et al., 2004) can be used as a BCI system. "
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    ABSTRACT: A brain-computer-interface (BCI) allows the user to control a device or software with brain activity. Many BCIs rely on visual stimuli with constant stimulation cycles that elicit steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEP) in the electroencephalogram (EEG). This EEG response can be generated with a LED or a computer screen flashing at a constant frequency, and similar EEG activity can be elicited with pseudo-random stimulation sequences on a screen (code-based BCI). Using electrocorticography (ECoG) instead of EEG promises higher spatial and temporal resolution and leads to more dominant evoked potentials due to visual stimulation. This work is focused on BCIs based on visual evoked potentials (VEP) and its capability as a continuous control interface for augmentation of video applications. One 35 year old female subject with implanted subdural grids participated in the study. The task was to select one out of four visual targets, while each was flickering with a code sequence. After a calibration run including 200 code sequences, a linear classifier was used during an evaluation run to identify the selected visual target based on the generated code-based VEPs over 20 trials. Multiple ECoG buffer lengths were tested and the subject reached a mean online classification accuracy of 99.21% for a window length of 3.15 s. Finally, the subject performed an unsupervised free run in combination with visual feedback of the current selection. Additionally, an algorithm was implemented that allowed to suppress false positive selections and this allowed the subject to start and stop the BCI at any time. The code-based BCI system attained very high online accuracy, which makes this approach very promising for control applications where a continuous control signal is needed.
    Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience 08/2014; 8:139. DOI:10.3389/fnsys.2014.00139
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    • "The neurofeedback setup used Turbo-BrainVoyager (Brain Innovation, Maastricht, The Netherlands), custom real-time image export tools programmed in ICE VA25 (Siemens Healthcare) [31], and custom scripts running in MATLAB (Mathworks Inc., Natick, MA, USA). This allowed participants to be shown visual representations of BOLD signal changes in specific brain regions (in the form of a thermometer display projected into the scanner) with a delay of less than 2 s from the acquisition of the image. "
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    ABSTRACT: Neurofeedback based on real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a new approach that allows training of voluntary control over regionally specific brain activity. However, the neural basis of successful neurofeedback learning remains poorly understood. Here, we assessed changes in effective brain connectivity associated with neurofeedback training of visual cortex activity. Using dynamic causal modeling (DCM), we found that training participants to increase visual cortex activity was associated with increased effective connectivity between the visual cortex and the superior parietal lobe. Specifically, participants who learned to control activity in their visual cortex showed increased top-down control of the superior parietal lobe over the visual cortex, and at the same time reduced bottom-up processing. These results are consistent with efficient employment of top-down visual attention and imagery, which were the cognitive strategies used by participants to increase their visual cortex activity.
    PLoS ONE 03/2014; 9(3):e91090. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0091090 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "However, the temporal resolution of this technique is relatively low, reaching 1–2 s. In addition, the physiological slowing of the hemodynamic response ranges from 3–6 s (Weiskopf et al., 2004). Most fMRI-based studies of MI do not involve EMG activity. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Motor imagery (MI) is the mental performance of movement without muscle activity. It is generally accepted that MI and motor performance have similar physiological mechanisms. Purpose: To investigate the activity and excitability of cortical motor areas during MI in subjects who were previously trained with an MI-based brain-computer interface (BCI). Subjects and Methods: Eleven healthy volunteers without neurological impairments (mean age, 36 years; range: 24–68 years) were either trained with an MI-based BCI (BCI-trained, n = 5) or received no BCI training (n = 6, controls). Subjects imagined grasping in a blocked paradigm task with alternating rest and task periods. For evaluating the activity and excitability of cortical motor areas we used functional MRI and navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS). Results: fMRI revealed activation in Brodmann areas 3 and 6, the cerebellum, and the thalamus during MI in all subjects. The primary motor cortex was activated only in BCI-trained subjects. The associative zones of activation were larger in non-trained subjects. During MI, motor evoked potentials recorded from two of the three targeted muscles were significantly higher only in BCI-trained subjects. The motor threshold decreased (median = 17%) during MI, which was also observed only in BCI-trained subjects. Conclusion: Previous BCI training increased motor cortex excitability during MI. These data may help to improve BCI applications, including rehabilitation of patients with cerebral palsy.
    Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience 11/2013; 7:168. DOI:10.3389/fncom.2013.00168 · 2.23 Impact Factor
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