Comparison of the influence of stimuli color on Steady-State Visual Evoked Potentials

IntroductionThe main idea of a traditional Steady State Visually Evoked Potentials (SSVEP)-BCI is the activation of commands through gaze control. For this purpose, the retina of the eye is excited by a stimulus at a certain frequency. Several studies have shown effects related to different kind of stimuli, frequencies, window lengths, techniques of feature extraction and even classification. So far, none of the previous studies has performed a comparison of performance of stimuli colors through LED technology. This study addresses precisely this important aspect and would be a great contribution to the topic of SSVEP-BCIs. Additionally, the performance of different colors at different frequencies and the visual comfort were evaluated in each case.MethodsLEDs of four different colors (red, green, blue and yellow) flickering at four distinct frequencies (8, 11, 13 and 15 Hz) were used. Twenty subjects were distributed in two groups performing different protocols. Multivariate Synchronization Index (MSI) was the technique adopted as feature extractor.ResultsThe accuracy was gradually enhanced with the increase of the time window. From our observations, the red color provides, in most frequencies, both highest rates of accuracy and Information Transfer Rate (ITR) for detection of SSVEP.ConclusionAlthough the red color has presented higher ITR, this color was turned in the less comfortable one and can even elicit epileptic responses according to the literature. For this reason, the green color is suggested as the best choice according to the proposed rules. In addition, this color has shown to be safe and accurate for an SSVEP-BCI.