Evaluating Brain-Computer Interface Performance in an ALS Population: Checkerboard and Color Paradigms

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The objective of this study was to investigate the performance of 3 brain-computer interface (BCI) paradigms in an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) population (n = 11). Using a repeated-measures design, participants completed 3 BCI conditions: row/column (RCW), checkerboard (CBW), and gray-to-color (CBC). Based on previous studies, it is hypothesized that the CBC and CBW conditions will result in higher accuracy, information transfer rate, waveform amplitude, and user preference over the RCW condition. An offline dynamic stopping simulation will also increase information transfer rate. Higher mean accuracy was observed in the CBC condition (89.7%), followed by the CBW (84.3%) condition, and lowest in the RCW condition (78.7%); however, these differences did not reach statistical significance (P =.062). Eight of the eleven participants preferred the CBC and the remaining three preferred the CBW conditions. The offline dynamic stopping simulation significantly increased information transfer rate (P =.005) and decreased accuracy (P <.000). The findings of this study suggest that color stimuli provide a modest improvement in performance and that participants prefer color stimuli over monochromatic stimuli. Given these findings, BCI paradigms that use color stimuli should be considered for individuals who have ALS.