WS4 – Brain Computer Interfaces: principles and applications in neurorehabilitation

Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) can be realized with EEG, ECoG, or spike activity recorded from the brain. A BCI converts brain waves into signals, which can be interpreted by computers either to make statements about the brain itself, or to control an attached output device. BCIs have been developed during the last years mainly for people with severe disabilities to improve their quality of life. The integration of BCIs into rehabilitation settings is a promising new approach that enhances the rehabilitation process.

During the first part of the workshop we will present an introduction into the field of BCIs and show several approaches to EEG analysis, as well as give insight into research that uses invasive electrophysiological data acquisition methods. In the second part we will carry out some hands-on experiments in which students will have to work together to implement a BCI application for the rehabilitation of stroke patients. The third workshop day students will have the possibility of testing different BCI applications that are currently being commercialised.

Organizers

g.tec medical engineering Spain SL was founded in 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. This Spanish SME develops software for biosignal acquisition and analysis (mainly EEG and ECG) and provides research support to customers and project partners. In both fields it closely collaborates with g.tec medical engineering GmbH a joint branch of GTEC, which sells biomedical equipment in more than 50 different countries worldwide, together with distribution partners in over a dozen countries, and is the main worldwide supplier of brain-computer interface technology.

g.tec medical engineering Spain SL building on and continuing the research activities of Guger Technologies OG a joint branch of g.tec together with partners from Spain and Portugal. Guger Technologies OG has research funding from numerous national (FFG, SFG) and European programs that all focus on BCIs. These include the EU ICT STREPs BackHome, and CREAM. These projects involve assiduous patient testing and dissemination, and the first two have a strong emphasis on integrating BCI and VR. G.TEC is also active in the EU funded FET Integrative Project VERE, building on over a decade of success in integrating BCIs and VR, including work in the successful IPs called PRESENCIA and VERE. In the project BackHome, G.TEC combines BCI technology with middleware software interfacing with smart home technology.

The Neural Rehabilitation Group (NRG) of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) focuses on the development of methods and technologies that could help understanding and controlling human biological systems and their interaction with the environment. In particular, interdisciplinary research program is established with the mission of collaboratively pursuing the development of innovative methodologies, interventions, and assistive devices to improve the quality of care and quality of life for persons with disabilities.

Goals

The Workshop attendees will learn and carry out all the steps that are necessary to perform BCI experiments on their own. They will receive a broad overview over the physiological processes in the brain and the tricks of the trade for data processing. Furthermore, they will learn the basics about EEG recordings, how to assure to get high data quality and how to clean EEG data from artifacts. They will get insight into detecting activation of motor regions and how to apply online feedback to the user.

 Speakers

M.Sc. Arnau Espinosa, software developer and researcher of Guger Technologies OG (g.tec). He is working on EEG, ECoG and spike based BCI projects within g.tec. He is involved in EC projects like Comaware, DeNeCor, BackHome, Vere, Renachip, ALIAS, Brainable, Decoder and Better and will also talk about these projects.

PhD Jaime Ibáñez, postdoctoral researcher at the Cajal Institute of the Spanish National Research Council. He is co-leading the Neuromodulation Laboratory and is mainly involved in research projects focusing on the development of EEG-based BCI technologies to rehabilitate the motor function of stroke patients.

 Schedule

Day 1 – BCIs from the beginning: (2 hours)

Introduction and theoretical background of EEG/BCIs: (60min)

  • EEG Basics: ERPs, ERDs, SSVEP, applications, neuro rehabilitation, etc.
  • EEG signal acquisition, spatial and temporal filters, artifact rejection techniques and summary of the most common feature extraction and classification algorithms.

Hands-on experiments: familiarization with EEG data. First demos and recordings: (60 min)

  • How to perform correct EEG measurements: artefact detection, visualization of Alfa, Mu and Beta waves, etc.
  • First recordings with different technological solutions used in experimental scenarios: Gel/ dry electrodes, active/passive electrodes, High-density/wireless amplifiers.
  • Synchronous EEG and EMG recordings of self-paced movements performed with the arms and legs.

 Day 2.- BCIs for neurorehabilitation and monitoring: (2 hours)

State of the art of BCI systems aimed to recover the motor function in neurological patients: (20 min)

  • Introduction and background

Neurorehabilitation application testing: (80 min)

  • Development of a Matlab-based neurorehabilitation BCI application (each group develops a different part of the application)
  • Offline testing of the integrated system (with the recordings of the previous day). Observation of ERD/ERS and MRCPs cortical patterns: (20 min)
  • Online testing of the integrated system combined with functional electrical stimulation controlled with the EEG signals.

Day 3.- Build BCI solutions for assessment and communication: (2 hours)

g.Nautilus presentation:

  • Live demo g.Nautilus (20 min)

Neurorehabilitation products:

  • Live demo MindBeagle (30 min)
  • Live demo recoveriX (30 min)

IntendiX presentation:

  • Live demo IntendiX (20 min)

Final discussion (20 min)

 

Program

WS_BCI-01

Expected audience

The workshop is designed for engineers as well as for neurophysiologists, psychologists and other health professionals.

Previous knowledge

Basic programming knowledge with Matlab and Simulink.

Topics in which the PhD students will get insight

The students will learn the basics of Brain-Computer Interfaces, and the applications of BCIs for the rehabilitation process. Signal processing and classifying algorithms will be partially programmed in order to build a BCI system aimed for associative facilitation experiments.

HW/SW that the participant need to bring/install

Nothing