Author(s): Wolpaw JR, McFarland DJ, Neat GW, Forneris CA
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Abstract This study began development of a new communication and control modality for individuals with severe motor deficits. We trained normal subjects to use the 8-12 Hz mu rhythm recorded from the scalp over the central sulcus of one hemisphere to move a cursor from the center of a video screen to a target located at the top or bottom edge. Mu rhythm amplitude was assessed by on-line frequency analysis and translated into cursor movement: larger amplitudes moved the cursor up and smaller amplitudes moved it down. Over several weeks, subjects learned to change mu rhythm amplitude quickly and accurately, so that the cursor typically reached the target in 3 sec. The parameters that translated mu rhythm amplitudes into cursor movements were derived from evaluation of the distributions of amplitudes in response to top and bottom targets. The use of these distributions was a distinctive feature of this study and the key factor in its success. Refinements in training procedures and in the distribution-based method used to translate mu rhythm amplitudes into cursor movements should further improve this 1-dimensional control. Achievement of 2-dimensional control is under study. The mu rhythm may provide a significant new communication and control option for disabled individuals.
This article was published in Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation