Towards an Auditory Attention BCI

  • Peter Brunner
  • Karen Dijkstra
  • William G. Coon
  • Jürgen Mellinger
  • Anthony L. Ritaccio
  • Gerwin Schalk
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Electrical and Computer Engineering book series (BRIEFSELECTRIC)


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.


Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Superior Temporal Gyrus Middle Temporal Gyrus Speech Stimulus Audio Stream 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



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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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Brunner
    • 1
    • 2
  • Karen Dijkstra
    • 1
    • 4
  • William G. Coon
    • 1
  • Jürgen Mellinger
    • 3
  • Anthony L. Ritaccio
    • 2
  • Gerwin Schalk
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.New York State Department of HealthCenter for Adaptive Neurotechnology, Wadsworth CenterAlbanyUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyAlbany Medical CollegeAlbanyUSA
  3. 3.Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, University of TübingenTübingenGermany
  4. 4.Department of Artificial IntelligenceDonders Institute for Brain, Cognition and BehaviourNijmegenThe Netherlands

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