Applying dynamic data collection to improve dry electrode system performance for a P300-based brain-computer interface.
OBJECTIVE: Dry electrodes have an advantage over gel-based 'wet' electrodes by providing quicker set-up time for electroencephalography recording; however, the potentially poorer contact can result in noisier recordings. We examine the impact that this may have on brain-computer interface communication and potential approaches for mitigation. APPROACH: We present a performance comparison of wet and dry electrodes for use with the P300 speller system in both healthy participants and participants with communication disabilities (ALS and PLS), and investigate the potential for a data-driven dynamic data collection algorithm to compensate for the lower signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in dry systems. MAIN RESULTS: Performance results from sixteen healthy participants obtained in the standard static data collection environment demonstrate a substantial loss in accuracy with the dry system. Using a dynamic stopping algorithm, performance may have been improved by collecting more data in the dry system for ten healthy participants and eight participants with communication disabilities; however, the algorithm did not fully compensate for the lower SNR of the dry system. An analysis of the wet and dry system recordings revealed that delta and theta frequency band power (0.1-4 Hz and 4-8 Hz, respectively) are consistently higher in dry system recordings across participants, indicating that transient and drift artifacts may be an issue for dry systems. SIGNIFICANCE: Using dry electrodes is desirable for reduced set-up time; however, this study demonstrates that online performance is significantly poorer than for wet electrodes for users with and without disabilities. We test a new application of dynamic stopping algorithms to compensate for poorer SNR. Dynamic stopping improved dry system performance; however, further signal processing efforts are likely necessary for full mitigation.
Clements, JM; Sellers, EW; Ryan, DB; Caves, K; Collins, LM; Throckmorton, CS
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