Computational Intelligence and Neuroscience, Apr 2009

Discrimination of motor imagery-induced EEG patterns in patients with complete spinal cord injury


Pfurtscheller G, Linortner P, Winkler R, Korisek G, Müller-Putz G

EEG-based discrimination between different motor imagery states has been subject of a number of studies in healthy subjects. We investigated the EEG of 15 patients with complete spinal cord injury during imagined right hand, left hand, and feet movements. In detail we studied pair-wise discrimination functions between the 3 types of motor imagery.

The following classification accuracies (mean +/- SD) were obtained: left versus right hand 65.03% +/- 8.52, left hand versus feet 68.19% +/- 11.08, and right hand versus feet 65.05% +/- 9.25. In 5 out of 8 paralegic patients, the discrimination accuracy was greater than 70% but in only 1 out of 7 tetraplagic patients. The present findings provide evidence that in the majority of paraplegic patients an EEG-based BCI could achieve satisfied results. In tetraplegic patients, however, it is expected that extensive training-sessions are necessary to achieve a good BCI performance at least in some subjects.

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