Presentation by Dr. Stefan Debener
A truly mobile, small and wireless EEG: Here you go
Abstract: All non-invasive technologies for the study of human brain activity suffer from the requirement that subjects avoid gross movement during recording. Movement heavily degrades signal quality, and this problem is commonly dealt with using one of two strategies. Firstly, signals recorded while subjects show explicit behavior are discarded, which results in asynchronous brain and behavior sampling. Secondly, only artificial, movement-constrained behavior is allowed. Accordingly, the validity of neurocognitive theories remains poorly understood in the context of unconstrained human behavior. To overcome these limitations, we started developing a low cost, truly mobile EEG system suitable for field recordings. Our first study confirmed that it is possible to identify single-trial P300 event-related potentials in response to auditory target stimuli while subjects walk outdoors. In a second study we controlled for the stimulus probability effect on P300 generation and found that task-relevance alone can evoke reliable P300 responses good enough in quality for driving a brain-computer interface (BCI). Our long-term goal is to develop a near-invisible, auditory BCI, enabling hearing aid users to control the device by thought alone.
Bio: Stefan Debener is Faculty at the Institut für Psychologie, Universität Oldenburg. His research objective is to achieve a better understanding of the brain-behaviour relationship. How does the brain respond to sensory deprivation, and how could a better knowledge of compensatory mechanisms help to improve rehabilitation strategies, for instance in the deaf? How is information of the different senses, such as seeing and hearing, combined to create a coherent percept of the world? Why do we make errors even in very simple tasks? And could we predict those errors before they occur? To investigate these questions, Dr. Debener combines established approaches in experimental psychology with non-invasive recordings of human brain function. These include high-density EEG, as well as MEG, fMRI, and concurrent EEG-fMRI recordings.