Brain–Computer Interface–Based Communication in the Completely Locked-In State
Ujwal Chaudhary , Bin Xia, Stefano Silvoni, Leonardo G. Cohen & Niels Birbaumer
Despite partial success, communication has remained impossible for persons suffering from complete motor paralysis but intact cognitive and emotional processing, a state called complete locked-in state (CLIS). Based on a motor learning theoretical context and on the failure of neuroelectric brain–computer interface (BCI) communication attempts in CLIS, we here report BCI communication using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) and an implicit attentional processing procedure. Four patients suffering from advanced amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)—two of them in permanent CLIS and two entering the CLIS without reliable means of communication—learned to answer personal questions with known answers and open questions all requiring a “yes” or “no” thought using frontocentral oxygenation changes measured with fNIRS. Three patients completed more than 46 sessions spread over several weeks, and one patient (patient W) completed 20 sessions. Online fNIRS classification of personal questions with known answers and open questions using linear support vector machine (SVM) resulted in an above-chance-level correct response rate over 70%. Electroencephalographic oscillations and electrooculographic signals did not exceed the chance-level threshold for correct communication despite occasional differences between the physiological signals representing a “yes” or “no” response. However, electroencephalogram (EEG) changes in the theta-frequency band correlated with inferior communication performance, probably because of decreased vigilance and attention. If replicated with ALS patients in CLIS, these positive results could indicate the first step towards abolition of complete locked-in states, at least for ALS.
This publication is not available on this platform. Please try the following instead:
- Jonathan Bishop (2014). Trolling Is Not Just a Art. It Is an Science: The Role of Automated Affective Content Screening in Regulating Digital Media and Reducing Risk of Trauma. In: Maria Manuela Cruz-Cunha & Irene Maria Portela (Eds.). Handbook of Research on
Digital Crime, Cyberspace Security, and Information Assurance. IGI Global, Hershey, PA.
- Jonathan Bishop (2012). Taming the Chatroom Bob: The role of brain-computer interfaces that manipulate prefrontal cortex optimization for increasing participation of victims of traumatic sex and other abuse online. In: 13th International Conference on Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BIOCOMP’12), 16-19 July 2012, USA.
- Jonathan Bishop (2011). The role of the prefrontal cortex in social orientation construction: A pilot study. Poster presented to the British Psychological Society’s Sustainable Well-Being Conference. Glyndwr University, Wrexham, 10 September 2011.
Chaudhary U, Xia B, Silvoni S, Cohen LG, Birbaumer N (2017) Brain–Computer Interface–Based Communication in the Completely Locked-In State. PLoS Biol 15(1)