A Study in User-Centered Design and Evaluation of Mental Tasks for BCI

  • Danny Plass-Oude Bos
  • Mannes Poel
  • Anton Nijholt
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6524)


Current brain-computer interfacing (BCI) research focuses on detection performance, speed, and bit rates. However, this is only a small part of what is important to the user. From human-computer interaction (HCI) research, we can apply the paradigms of user-centered design and evaluation, to improve the usability and user experience. Involving the users in the design process may also help in moving beyond the limited mental tasks that are currently common in BCI systems. To illustrate the usefulness of these methods to BCI, we involved potential users in the design process of a BCI system, resulting in three new mental tasks. The experience of using these mental tasks was then evaluated within a prototype BCI system using a commercial online role-playing game. Results indicate that user preference for certain mental tasks is primarily based on the recognition of brain activity by the system, and secondly on the ease of executing the task.


user-centered design evaluation brain-computer interfacing multimodal interaction games 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Blankertz, B., Popescu, F., Krauledat, M., Fazli, S., Tangermann, M., Müller, K.: Challenges for Brain-Computer Interface Research for Human-Computer Interaction Applications. In: ACM CHI Workshop on Brain-Computer Interfaces for HCI and Games (2008)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Dornhege, G., Blankertz, B., Krauledat, M., Losch, F., Curio, G., Muller, K.: Combined optimization of spatial and temporal filters for improving brain-computer interfacing. IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering 53(11), 2274–2281 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Friedman, D., Leeb, R., Guger, C., Steed, A., Pfurtscheller, G., Slater, M.: Navigating virtual reality by thought: what is it like? Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments 16(1), 100–110 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Graimann, B., Allison, B., Gräser, A.: New Applications for Non-invasive Brain-Computer Interfaces and the Need for Engaging Training Environments. In: BRAINPLAY 2007 Brain-Computer Interfaces and Games Workshop at ACE (Advances in Computer Entertainment), pp. 25–28 (2007)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    IJsselsteijn, W., de Kort, Y., Poels, K., Jurgelionis, A., Bellotti, F.: Characterising and measuring user experiences in digital games. In: International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology (2007)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ko, M., Bae, K., Oh, G., Ryu, T.: A study on new gameplay based on brain-computer interface. In: Barry, A., Helen, K., Tanya, K. (eds.) Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory: Proceedings of the 2009 Digital Games Research Association Conference, Brunel University (2009)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Langer, E.: The illusion of control. Journal of personality and social psychology 32(2), 311–328 (1975)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lécuyer, A., Lotte, F., Reilly, R.B., Leeb, R., Hirose, M., Slater, M.: Brain-Computer Interfaces, Virtual Reality, and Videogames. Computer 41(10), 66–72 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    McFarland, D., McCane, L., David, S., Wolpaw, J.: Spatial filter selection for EEG-based communication. Electroencephalography and clinical Neurophysiology 103(3), 386–394 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Molina, G.: Detection of High-Frequency Steady State Visual Evoked Potentials Using Phase Rectified Reconstruction. In: 16th European Signal Processing Conference, EUSIPCO 2008 (2008)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Nijholt, A., van Erp, J., Heylen, D.K.J.: BrainGain: BCI for HCI and Games. In: Proceedings AISB Symposium Brain Computer Interfaces and Human Computer Interaction: A Convergence of Ideas, pp. 32–35 (2008)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Nijholt, A., Tan, D., Pfurtscheller, G., Brunner, C., Millán, J.d.R., Allison, B., Graimann, B., Popescu, F., Blankertz, B., Müller, K.R.: Brain-computer interfacing for intelligent systems. IEEE Intelligent Systems pp. 76–83 (2008)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Nijholt, A., Tan, D., Millán, J.d.R., Graimann, B., Jackson, M.: Brain-computer interfaces for HCI and games. In: Proceedings ACM CHI 2008: Art. Science. Balance, pp. 3925–3928 (2008)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Plass-Oude Bos, D., Reuderink, B., van de Laar, B., Gürkök, H., Mühl, C., Poel, M., Nijholt, A., Heylen, D.: Brain-computer interfacing and games. In: Tan, D., Nijholt, A. (eds.) Brain-Computer Interfaces: Applying our Minds to Human-Computer Interaction, ch. 10. Springer, Heidelberg (2010)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Reuderink, B.: Games and Brain-Computer Interfaces: The State of the Art. Tech. Rep. TR-CTIT-08-81, Human Media Interaction, Faculty of EEMCS, University of Twente (2008)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Salber, D., Coutaz, J.: Applying the wizard of oz technique to the study of multimodal systems. Human-Computer Interaction 753, 219–230 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Tonet, O., Marinelli, M., Citi, L., Rossini, P., Rossini, L., Megali, G., Dario, P.: Defining brain–machine interface applications by matching interface performance with device requirements. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 167(1), 91–104 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Wolpaw, J.R., Loeb, G.E., Allison, B.Z., Donchin, E., Nascimento, O.F., Heetderks, W.J., Nijboer, F., Shain, W.G., Turner, J.N.: BCI meeting 2005 - workshop on signals and recording methods. IEEE Transactions on Neural System and Rehabilitation Engineering 14(2), 138–141 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Wolpaw, J., Birbaumer, N., McFarland, D., Pfurtscheller, G., Vaughan, T.: Brain-computer interfaces for communication and control. Clinical Neurophysiology 113(6), 767–791 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Danny Plass-Oude Bos
    • 1
  • Mannes Poel
    • 1
  • Anton Nijholt
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of EEMCSUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations