Maximizing Information Transfer in SSVEP-Based Brain–Computer Interfaces
Compared to the different brain signals used in brain–computer interface (BCI) paradigms, the s teady-state visually evoked potential (SSVEP) features a high signal to noise ratio, enabling reliable and fast classification of neural activity patterns without extensive training requirements. In this paper, we present methods to further increase the information transfer rates (ITRs) of SSVEP-based BCIs. Starting with stimulus parameter optimizations methods, we develop an improved approach for the use of Canonical correlation analysis and analyze properties of the SSVEP when the user fixates a target and during transitions between targets. These transitions show a negative effect on the system's ITR which we trace back to delays and dead times of the SSVEP. Using two classifier types adapted to continuous and transient SSVEPs and two control modes (fast feedback and fast input), we present a simulated online BCI implementation which addresses the challenges introduced by transient SSVEPs. The resulting system reaches an average ITR of 181 Bits/min and peak ITR values of up to 295 Bits/min for individual users.
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