Towards an Auditory Attention BCI
People affected by severe neuro-degenerative diseases (e.g., late-stage amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or locked-in syndrome) eventually lose all muscular control and are no longer able to gesture or speak. For this population, an auditory BCI is one of only a few remaining means of communication. All currently used auditory BCIs require a relatively artificial mapping between a stimulus and a communication output. This mapping is cumbersome to learn and use. Recent studies suggest that electrocorticographic (ECoG) signals in the gamma band (i.e., 70–170 Hz) can be used to infer the identity of auditory speech stimuli, effectively removing the need to learn such an artificial mapping. However, BCI systems that use this physiological mechanism for communication purposes have not yet been described. In this study, we explore this possibility by implementing a BCI2000-based real-time system that uses ECoG signals to identify the attended speaker.
KeywordsAmyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Superior Temporal Gyrus Middle Temporal Gyrus Speech Stimulus Audio Stream
This work was supported by the NIH (EB006356 (GS), EB00856 (GS) and EB018783 (GS)), the US Army Research Office (W911NF-07-1-0415 (GS), W911NF-08-1-0216 (GS) and W911NF-14-1-0440 (GS)) and Fondazione Neurone.
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