A scanning protocol for a sensorimotor rhythm-based brain-computer interface

Elisabeth V.C. Friedrich, Dennis J. McFarland, Christa Neuper, Theresa M. Vaughan, Peter Brunner, Jonathan R. Wolpaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The scanning protocol is a novel brain-computer interface (BCI) implementation that can be controlled with sensorimotor rhythms (SMRs) of the electroencephalogram (EEG). The user views a screen that shows four choices in a linear array with one marked as target. The four choices are successively highlighted for 2.5 s each. When a target is highlighted, the user can select it by modulating the SMR. An advantage of this method is the capacity to choose among multiple choices with just one learned SMR modulation. Each of 10 naive users trained for ten 30 min sessions over 5 weeks. User performance improved significantly (p < 0.001) over the sessions and ranged from 30 to 80% mean accuracy of the last three sessions (chance accuracy = 25%). The incidence of correct selections depended on the target position. These results suggest that, with further improvements, a scanning protocol can be effective. The ultimate goal is to expand it to a large matrix of selections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-175
Number of pages7
JournalBiological Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • BCI
  • Brain-computer interface
  • Scanning protocol
  • Sensorimotor rhythm


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