Statistical evaluation of a novel SSVEP-BCI stimulation setup based on depth-of-field

posted on 26.12.2018 by Anibal Cotrina, Alessandro Botti Benevides, Javier Castillo-Garcia, Andre Ferreira, Teodiano Freire Bastos Filho

Abstract Introduction The main drawback of a Brain-computer Interface based on Steady-State Visual Evoked Potential (SSVEP-BCI) that detects the emergence of visual evoked potentials (VEP) in reaction to flickering stimuli is its muscular dependence due to users must redirect their gaze to put the target stimulus in their field of view. In this work, a novel setup is evaluated in which two stimuli are placed together in the center of users' field of view, but with dissimilar distances from them, so that the target selection is performed by focus shifting instead of head, neck and/or eyeball movements. Methods A model of VEP generation for the novel setup was developed. The Spectral F-test based on Bartett periodogram was used to evaluate the null hypothesis of absence of effects of the non-focused stimulus (NFS) within the VEP elicited by the focused stimulus (FS). To reinforce that there is not statistical evidence to support the presence of NFS effects, the PSDA detection method was employed to find the frequency of FS. Electroencephalographic signals of nine subjects were recorded. Results Approximately in 80% of the tests, the null hypothesis with 5% level of significance was non-rejected at the fundamental frequency of NFS. The average of the accuracy rate attained with PSDA detection method was 79.4%. Conclusion Results of this work become further evident to state that if the focused stimulus (FS) will be able to elicit distinguishable VEP pattern regardless the non-focused stimulus (NFS) is also present.