Highly Interactive Brain–Computer Interface Based on Flicker-Free Steady-State Motion Visual Evoked Potential

Abstract

Visual evoked potential-based brain–computer interfaces (BCIs) have been widely investigated because of their easy system configuration and high information transfer rate (ITR). However, the uncomfortable flicker or brightness modulation of existing methods restricts the practical interactivity of BCI applications. In our study, a flicker-free steady-state motion visual evoked potential (FF-SSMVEP)-based BCI was proposed. Ring-shaped motion checkerboard patterns with oscillating expansion and contraction motions were presented by a high-refresh-rate display for visual stimuli, and the brightness of the stimuli was kept constant. Compared with SSVEPs, few harmonic responses were elicited by FF-SSMVEPs, and the frequency energy of SSMVEPs was concentrative. These FF-SSMVEPs evoked “single fundamental peak” responses after signal processing without harmonic and subharmonic peaks. More stimulation frequencies could thus be selected to elicit more responding fundamental peaks without overlap with harmonic peaks. A 40-target online SSMVEP-based BCI system was achieved that provided an ITR up to 1.52 bits per second (91.2 bits/min), and user training was not required to use this system. This study also demonstrated that the FF-SSMVEP-based BCI system has low contrast and low visual fatigue, offering a better alternative to conventional SSVEP-based BCIs.

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