The past 20 years have witnessed unprecedented progress in brain- computer interfaces (BCIs). However, low communication rates remain key obstacles to BCI-based communication in humans. This study presents an electroencephalogram-based BCI speller that can achieve information transfer rates (ITRs) up to 5.32 bits per second, the highest ITRs reported in BCI spellers using either noninvasive or invasive methods. Based on extremely high consistency of frequency and phase observed between visual flickering signals and the elicited single-trial steady-state visual evoked potentials, this study developed a synchronous modulation and demodulation paradigm to implement the speller. Specifically, this study proposed a new joint frequency-phase modulation method to tag 40 characters with 0.5- s-long flickering signals and developed a user-specific target identification algorithm using individual calibration data. The speller achieved high ITRs in online spelling tasks. This study demonstrates that BCIs can provide a truly naturalistic high-speed communication channel using noninvasively recorded brain activities.
Objective. Most current electroencephalography (EEG)-based brain–computer interfaces (BCIs) are based on machine learning algorithms. There is a large diversity of classifier types that are used in this field, as described in our 2007 review paper. Now, approximately ten years after this review publication, many new algorithms have been developed and tested to classify EEG signals in BCIs. The time is therefore ripe for an updated review of EEG classification algorithms for BCIs. Approach. We surveyed the BCI and machine learning literature from 2007 to 2017 to identify the new classification approaches that have been investigated to design BCIs. We synthesize these studies in order to present such algorithms, to report how they were used for BCIs, what were the outcomes, and to identify their pros and cons. Main results. We found that the recently designed classification algorithms for EEG-based BCIs can be divided into four main categories: adaptive classifiers, matrix and tensor classifiers, transfer learning and deep learning, plus a few other miscellaneous classifiers. Among these, adaptive classifiers were demonstrated to be generally superior to static ones, even with unsupervised adaptation. Transfer learning can also prove useful although the benefits of transfer learning remain unpredictable. Riemannian geometry-based methods have reached state-of-the-art performances on multiple BCI problems and deserve to be explored more thoroughly, along with tensor-based methods. Shrinkage linear discriminant analysis and random forests also appear particularly useful for small training samples settings. On the other hand, deep learning methods have not yet shown convincing improvement over state-of-the-art BCI methods. Significance. This paper provides a comprehensive overview of the modern classification algorithms used in EEG-based BCIs, presents the principles of these methods and guidelines on when and how to use them. It also identifies a number of challenges to further advance EEG classification in BCI.
Over the past several decades, electroencephalogram (EEG)-based brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) have attracted attention from researchers in the field of neuroscience, neural engineering, and clinical rehabilitation. While the performance of BCI systems has improved, they do not yet support widespread usage. Recently, visual and auditory BCI systems have become popular because of their high communication speeds, little user training, and low user variation. However, building robust and practical BCI systems from physiological and technical knowledge of neural modulation of visual and auditory brain responses remains a challenging problem. In this paper, we review the current state and future challenges of visual and auditory BCI systems. First, we describe a new taxonomy based on the multiple access methods used in telecommunication systems. Then, we discuss the challenges of translating current technology into real-life practices and outline potential avenues to address them. Specifically, this review aims to provide useful guidelines for exploring new paradigms and methodologies to improve the current visual and auditory BCI technology.