Evaluation of EEG Oscillatory Patterns and Classification of Compound Limb Tactile Imagery.

Brain sciences(2023)

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: The purpose of this study was to investigate the cortical activity and digit classification performance during tactile imagery (TI) of a vibratory stimulus at the index, middle, and thumb digits within the left hand in healthy individuals. Furthermore, the cortical activities and classification performance of the compound TI were compared with similar compound motor imagery (MI) with the same digits as TI in the same subjects. Twelve healthy right-handed adults with no history of upper limb injury, musculoskeletal condition, or neurological disorder participated in the study. The study evaluated the event-related desynchronization (ERD) response and brain-computer interface (BCI) classification performance on discriminating between the digits in the left-hand during the imagery of vibrotactile stimuli to either the index, middle, or thumb finger pads for TI and while performing a motor activity with the same digits for MI. A supervised machine learning technique was applied to discriminate between the digits within the same given limb for both imagery conditions. Both TI and MI exhibited similar patterns of ERD in the alpha and beta bands at the index, middle, and thumb digits within the left hand. While TI had significantly lower ERD for all three digits in both bands, the classification performance of TI-based BCI (77.74 ± 6.98%) was found to be similar to the MI-based BCI (78.36 ± 5.38%). The results of this study suggest that compound tactile imagery can be a viable alternative to MI for BCI classification. The study contributes to the growing body of evidence supporting the use of TI in BCI applications, and future research can build on this work to explore the potential of TI-based BCI for motor rehabilitation and the control of external devices.
motor imagery,tactile imagery,brain-computer interface,event-related desynchronization
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