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Detections of Steady-State Visual Evoked Potential and Simultaneous Jaw Clench Action from Identical Occipital Electrodes: A Hybrid Brain-Computer Interface Study



For users with severe motor impairments such as high paraplegia, constructing a simplified, practical, and effective brain-computer interface (BCI) system is critical to improve the quality of life and reduce nursing requirements. This is challenging for users who retain only muscle function above the neck.


In this experiment, both able-bodied and motor impairment subjects attended to a flickering stimulus and performed jaw clenches simultaneously. This paper focused on the feasibility of sharing the same collection sites for steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) with electromyograms (EMGs) and the potential of building a parallel hybrid BCI system.


The results reveal that when the visual stimulation frequency was lower than 20 Hz, there was no serious crosstalk between SSVEP and EMG from jaw clench actions. The EMG signal slightly affects the recognition of SSVEP, while the recognition rate of jaw clench movements based on the mixed signal exceeded 95%.


For patients with severe disabilities, the rare applicable EMG signal is facial muscle electrical activity. The proposed study made full use of the combination of jaw clench-related EMG and SSVEP to solve this problem. Only using the same occipital electrodes to simultaneously collect SSVEP with jaw clench-related EMG and classify them could further promote the development and practical application of hybrid BCIs.

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This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 11772037) and the Key Research and Development Project of Shanxi Province (No. 201903D321167). The authors would also like to thank all of the participants who generously volunteered their time to participate in this study.

Author information




ZZ, YF, and HN conceived and designed the study. ZZ established the protocol. ZZ, XC, and KG performed the experiments. KG, JX, TL helped with data processing. ZZ and HN wrote the manuscript, and all other authors reviewed and commented on the draft. All authors read and approved the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Haijun Niu.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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The authors have read and abided by the statement of ethical standards for manuscripts submitted to the Journal of Medical and Biological Engineering. Ethical approval and Informed consent are shown in the Method section.

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Zhang, Z., Chai, X., Guan, K. et al. Detections of Steady-State Visual Evoked Potential and Simultaneous Jaw Clench Action from Identical Occipital Electrodes: A Hybrid Brain-Computer Interface Study. J. Med. Biol. Eng. (2021).

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  • Hybrid BCI
  • Electrode multiplexing
  • Masseter EMG
  • Jaw clenches