Poor BCI Performers Still Could Benefit from Motor Imagery Training

  • Alexander Kaplan
  • Anatoly Vasilyev
  • Sofya Liburkina
  • Lev Yakovlev
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9743)


Nowadays, there is a growing number of studies suggesting that coupled with the brain-computer interface (BCI) the motor imagery practice could be a helpful tool in neurorehabilitation therapy, but the actual neurophysiological correlates of such exercise are poorly understood. In this study we examined two of the most notable neurophysiological effects of motor imagery – the EEG mu-rhythm desynchronization and the increase in cortical excitability assessed with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). We have found that subjects’ BCI performance was highly correlated with mu-rhythm features and was not associated with the cortical excitability increase. Subjects with the lowest accuracy in BCI all had a statically significant excitability raise during motor imagery and did not differ from better performers. Our results suggest that poor BCI performers with weak EEG response still could benefit from the motor imagery training, and in that case cortex excitability level had to be considered for the control measurement.


Motor imagery Brain-computer interface Transcranial magnetic stimulation Classification accuracy Electroencephalogram Cortical excitability Mu-rhythm Neurorehabilitation 



This study was partially supported by funding from the Skolkovo Foundation (project #1110034) and from Russian Science Foundation (#15-19-20053). Authors also would like to acknowledge the work of Yuriy Nuzhdin responsible for software development used it this study for data acquisition and analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander Kaplan
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Anatoly Vasilyev
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sofya Liburkina
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lev Yakovlev
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Lomonosov Moscow State UniversityMoscowRussian Federation
  2. 2.Pirogov Russian National Research Medical UniversityMoscowRussian Federation
  3. 3.Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni NovgorodNizhni NovgorodRussian Federation

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