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  Communication in Late-Stage Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis by a BCI based on Self-Regulation of Theta-Oscillations in the Precuneus

Fomina, T., Lohmann, G., Erb, M., Ethofer, T., Schölkopf, B., & Grosse-Wentrup, M. (2015). Communication in Late-Stage Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis by a BCI based on Self-Regulation of Theta-Oscillations in the Precuneus. Poster presented at 7th International IEEE EMBS Conference on Neural Engineering (NER 2015), Montpellier, France.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0000-B3D4-6 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0000-B3D5-5
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Fomina, T, Author
Lohmann, Gabriele1, Author              
Erb, Michael1, Author              
Ethofer, T, Author
Schölkopf, Bernhard2, Author              
Grosse-Wentrup, Moritz2, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department High-Field Magnetic Resonance, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497796              
2Dept. Empirical Inference, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Max Planck Society, ou_1497647              

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 Abstract: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is neurodegenerative disease that leads to complete muscle paralysis. Brain- Computer Interfaces (BCIs) can be used for basic communication by ALS patients in early and advanced stages of the disease, but not yet by patients in the completely locked-in (CLI) state. This is arguably a result of the focus in BCI research on sensorimotor processes, which are affected by the disease already at an early stage. We have argued that to communicate with late-stage ALS patients it is essential to develop BCIs based on high-level cognitive processes that are less likely to be impaired. Here, we report successful communication by a late-stage (but not yet locked-in) ALS patient by means of self-regulation of theta-power in the precuneus, a brain region that is linked to self-referential thought. The male patient participated in 30 neurofeedback sessions over the course of one year, based on high-density EEG recordings. In each session, he received visual and auditory feedback on his current state of theta-power (2?5 Hz) in the precuneus. He used this signal to answer yes/no questions online, to which he had provided the correct answers in advance. The patient achieved an online decoding accuracy, averaged across all 30 sessions, of 70.5%, with a significant positive trend across sessions. Our study thus shows that it is feasible to use self-regulation of theta-power in the precuneus for communication in late-stage ALS.

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 Dates: 2015-04-22
 Publication Status: Published in print
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Title: 7th International IEEE EMBS Conference on Neural Engineering (NER 2015)
Place of Event: Montpellier, France
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Title: 7th International IEEE EMBS Conference on Neural Engineering (NER 2015)
Source Genre: Proceedings
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