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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

Gaming control using a wearable and wireless EEG-based brain-computer interface device with novel dry foam-based sensors

Lun-De Liao13, Chi-Yu Chen23, I-Jan Wang3, Sheng-Fu Chen4, Shih-Yu Li3, Bo-Wei Chen1, Jyh-Yeong Chang1 and Chin-Teng Lin123*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Electrical Engineering, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu 300, Taiwan

2 Department of Computer Science, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu 300, Taiwan

3 Brain Research Center, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu 300, Taiwan

4 Division of Medical Engineering Research, National Health Research Institutes, Miaoli 350, Taiwan

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Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 2012, 9:5  doi:10.1186/1743-0003-9-5

Published: 28 January 2012

Abstract

A brain-computer interface (BCI) is a communication system that can help users interact with the outside environment by translating brain signals into machine commands. The use of electroencephalographic (EEG) signals has become the most common approach for a BCI because of their usability and strong reliability. Many EEG-based BCI devices have been developed with traditional wet- or micro-electro-mechanical-system (MEMS)-type EEG sensors. However, those traditional sensors have uncomfortable disadvantage and require conductive gel and skin preparation on the part of the user. Therefore, acquiring the EEG signals in a comfortable and convenient manner is an important factor that should be incorporated into a novel BCI device. In the present study, a wearable, wireless and portable EEG-based BCI device with dry foam-based EEG sensors was developed and was demonstrated using a gaming control application. The dry EEG sensors operated without conductive gel; however, they were able to provide good conductivity and were able to acquire EEG signals effectively by adapting to irregular skin surfaces and by maintaining proper skin-sensor impedance on the forehead site. We have also demonstrated a real-time cognitive stage detection application of gaming control using the proposed portable device. The results of the present study indicate that using this portable EEG-based BCI device to conveniently and effectively control the outside world provides an approach for researching rehabilitation engineering.

Keywords:
Electroencephalography (EEG); Brain-computer interface; Dry EEG sensor; Cognitive applications