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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Hum. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2019.00302

The Sensitivity of Single-Trial Mu-suppression Detection for Motor Imagery Performance as Compared to Motor Execution and Motor Observation Performance

 Kunyu Xu1, Yu-Yu Huang1 and Jeng-Ren Duann1, 2*
  • 1Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, National Central University, Taiwan
  • 2Institute for Neural Computation, University of California, San Diego, United States

Motor imagery (MI) has been widely used to operate brain-computer interface (BCI) systems for rehabilitation and some life assistive devices. However, the current performance of an MI-based BCI cannot fully meet the needs of its in-field applications. Most of the BCIs utilizing a generalized feature for all participants have been found to greatly hamper the efficacy of the BCI system. Hence, some attempts have made on the exploration of subject-dependent parameters, but it remains challenging to enhance BCI performance as expected. To this end, in this study, we used the independent component analysis (ICA), which has been proved capable of isolating the pure motor-related component from non-motor-related brain processes and artifacts and extracting the common motor-related component across motor imagery (MI), motor execution (ME), and motor observation (MO) conditions. Then, a sliding window approach was used to detect significant mu-suppression from the baseline using the EEG alpha power time course and, thus, the success rate of the mu-suppression detection could be assessed on a single-trial basis. By comparing the success rates using different parameters, we further quantified the extent of the improvement in each motor condition to evaluate the effectiveness of both generalized and individualized parameters. The results showed that in ME condition, the success rate under individualized latency and that under generalized latency was 90.0% and 77.75 %, respectively; in MI condition, the success rate was 74.14% for individual latency and 58.47% for generalized latency, and in MO condition, the success rate was 67.89% and 61.26% for individual and generalized latency, respectively. As can be seen, the success rate in each motor condition was significantly improved by utilizing an individualized latency compared to that using the generalized latency. Moreover, the comparison of the individualized window latencies for the mu-suppression detection across different runs of the same participant as well as across different participants showed that the window latency was significantly more consistent in the intra-subject than in the inter-subject settings. As a result, we proposed that individualizing the latency for detecting the mu-suppression feature for each participant might be a promising attempt to improve the MI-based BCI performance.

Keywords: event-related desynchronisation, Independent Component Analysis, Motor Imagery, Mu-suppression, latency

Received: 07 Jan 2019; Accepted: 14 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Xu, Huang and Duann. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Jeng-Ren Duann, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, National Central University, Taoyuan, Taiwan,