Optimizing the detection of wakeful and sleep-like states for future electrocorticographic brain computer interface applications

Mrinal Pahwa, Matthew Kusner, Carl D. Hacker, David T. Bundy, Kilian Q. Weinberger, Eric C. Leuthardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Previous studies suggest stable and robust control of a brain-computer interface (BCI) can be achieved using electrocorticography (ECoG). Translation of this technology from the laboratory to the real world requires additional methods that allow users operate their ECoGbased BCI autonomously. In such an environment, users must be able to perform all tasks currently performed by the experimenter, including manually switching the BCI system on/off. Although a simple task, it can be challenging for target users (e.g., individuals with tetraplegia) due to severe motor disability. In this study, we present an automated and practical strategy to switch a BCI system on or off based on the cognitive state of the user. Using a logistic regression, we built probabilistic models that utilized sub-dural ECoG signals from humans to estimate in pseudo real-time whether a person is awake or in a sleep-like state, and subsequently, whether to turn a BCI system on or off. Furthermore, we constrained these models to identify the optimal anatomical and spectral parameters for delineating states. Other methods exist to differentiate wake and sleep states using ECoG, but none account for practical requirements of BCI application, such as minimizing the size of an ECoG implant and predicting states in real time. Our results demonstrate that, across 4 individuals, wakeful and sleep-like states can be classified with over 80% accuracy (up to 92%) in pseudo real-time using high gamma (70-110 Hz) band limited power from only 5 electrodes (platinum discs with a diameter of 2.3 mm) located above the precentral and posterior superior temporal gyrus.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0142947
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015


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