Use of brain signals and computer technology in rehabilitation
01 / 2008 - 01 / 2013
PURPOSE Using brain signals to control a device is called Brain Computer Interfacing (BCI). In this project we will focus on two applications of BCIs. The first will be for communication or control of domotics. The second application is the use of a BCI in the rehabilitation of gait. The idea is that patients can control a locomotor device (such as the Locomat) with their own brain signals, which may improve the rehabilitation process. METHODOLOGY The brain signals will be measured with ElectroEncephaloGraphy (EEG), first in healthy subjects, later on in patients. For the first application, the brain signals that are evoked by attention to tactile stimuli will be used to control the BCI. For the second application, brain signals that are associated with (imagination of) walking movements will be used to control a locomotor device (such as the locomat). PROGRESS For the domotics or communication application, we first studied the brain signals evoked by different types of tactile stimulation in healthy subjects. Furthermore, several BCI pilot studies with tactile stimulation have been performed with healthy subjects. Next, a more extensive study with online feedback will be performed in both healthy subjects and patients. Furthermore we will start with investigating the brain signals evoked by (imagined) walking movements. RESULTS The results of the first study suggested that different tactile stimulation sites should not be too close together. The BCI pilot studies showed that the performance of such a BCI varies for different types of stimulation and subjects. Average classification performance is about 70%.