Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 219, Issue 2, pp 245–254 | Cite as

Active training paradigm for motor imagery BCI

Research Article


Brain–computer interface (BCI) allows the use of brain activities for people to directly communicate with the external world or to control external devices without participation of any peripheral nerves and muscles. Motor imagery is one of the most popular modes in the research field of brain–computer interface. Although motor imagery BCI has some advantages compared with other modes of BCI, such as asynchronization, it is necessary to require training sessions before using it. The performance of trained BCI system depends on the quality of training samples or the subject engagement. In order to improve training effect and decrease training time, we proposed a new paradigm where subjects participated in training more actively than in the traditional paradigm. In the traditional paradigm, a cue (to indicate what kind of motor imagery should be imagined during the current trial) is given to the subject at the beginning of a trial or during a trial, and this cue is also used as a label for this trial. It is usually assumed that labels for trials are accurate in the traditional paradigm, although subjects may not have performed the required or correct kind of motor imagery, and trials may thus be mislabeled. And then those mislabeled trials give rise to interference during model training. In our proposed paradigm, the subject is required to reconfirm the label and can correct the label when necessary. This active training paradigm may generate better training samples with fewer inconsistent labels because it overcomes mistakes when subject’s motor imagination does not match the given cues. The experiments confirm that our proposed paradigm achieves better performance; the improvement is significant according to statistical analysis.


Electroencephalography (EEG) Brain–computer interface (BCI) Active training 



The work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 90920014, 91120305).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MOE-Microsoft Key Laboratory for Intelligent Computing and Intelligent Systems, Department of Computer Science and EngineeringShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina

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