The dorsolateral pre-frontal cortex bi-polar error-related potential in a locked-in patient implanted with a daily use brain–computer interface

Zachary Freudenburg*, Khaterah Kohneshin, Erik Aarnoutse, Mariska Vansteensel, Mariana Branco, Sacha Leinders, Max van den Boom, Elmar G.M. Pels, Nick Ramsey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

While brain computer interfaces (BCIs) offer the potential of allowing those suffering from loss of muscle control to once again fully engage with their environment by bypassing the affected motor system and decoding user intentions directly from brain activity, they are prone to errors. One possible avenue for BCI performance improvement is to detect when the BCI user perceives the BCI to have made an unintended action and thus take corrective actions. Error-related potentials (ErrPs) are neural correlates of error awareness and as such can provide an indication of when a BCI system is not performing according to the user’s intentions. Here, we investigate the brain signals of an implanted BCI user suffering from locked-in syndrome (LIS) due to late-stage ALS that prevents her from being able to speak or move but not from using her BCI at home on a daily basis to communicate, for the presence of error-related signals. We first establish the presence of an ErrP originating from the dorsolateral pre-frontal cortex (dLPFC) in response to errors made during a discrete feedback task that mimics the click-based spelling software she uses to communicate. Then, we show that this ErrP can also be elicited by cursor movement errors in a continuous BCI cursor control task. This work represents a first step toward detecting ErrPs during the daily home use of a communications BCI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)444-454
Number of pages11
JournalControl Theory and Technology
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Keywords

  • Brain computer interface
  • Dorsolateral pre-frontal conrtex
  • Error-related potentials
  • Locked-in syndrome
  • Motor cortex
  • Utrecht neural prosthesis

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