Performance evaluation of hybrid EEG-fNIRS BCIs

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Toward a compact hybrid brain-computer interface (BCI): Performance evaluation of multi-class hybrid EEG-fNIRS BCIs with limited number of channels.

Abstract
It has been demonstrated that the performance of typical unimodal brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) can be noticeably improved by combining two different BCI modalities. This so-called “hybrid BCI” technology has been studied for decades; however, hybrid BCIs that particularly combine electroencephalography (EEG) and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) (hereafter referred to as hBCIs) have not been widely used in practical settings. One of the main reasons why hBCI systems are so unpopular is that their hardware is generally too bulky and complex. Therefore, to make hBCIs more appealing, it is necessary to implement a lightweight and compact hBCI system with minimal performance degradation. In this study, we investigated the feasibility of implementing a compact hBCI system with significantly less EEG channels and fNIRS source-detector (SD) pairs, but that can achieve a classification accuracy high enough to be used in practical BCI applications. EEG and fNIRS data were acquired while participants performed three different mental tasks consisting of mental arithmetic, right-hand motor imagery, and an idle state. Our analysis results showed that the three mental states could be classified with a fairly high classification accuracy of 77.6 ± 12.1% using an hBCI system with only two EEG channels and two fNIRS SD pairs.

PMID: 32187208 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

PLoS One. 2020;15(3):e0230491

Authors: Kwon J, Shin J, Im CH

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