Cognitive ability assessment by Brain-Computer Interface. Validation of a new assessment method for cognitive abilities

P. Perego, A. C. Turconi, G. Andreoni, L. Maggi, E. Beretta, S. Parini, C. Gagliardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) are systems which can provide communication and environmental control to people with severe neuromuscular diseases. The current study proposes a new BCI-based method for psychometric assessment when traditional or computerized testing cannot be used owing to the subject's output impairment. This administration protocol was based on, and validated against, a widely used clinical test (Raven Colored Progressive Matrix) in order to verify whether BCI affects the brain in terms of cognitive resource with a misstatement result. The operating protocol was structured into two phases: phase 1 was aimed at configuring the BCI system on the subject's features and train him/her to use it; during phase 2 the BCI system was reconfigured and the test performed. A step-by-step checking procedure was adopted to verify progressive inclusion/exclusion criteria and the underpinning variables. The protocol was validated on 19 healthy subjects and the BCI-based administration was compared with a paper-based administration. The results obtained by both methods were correlated as known for traditional assessment of a similarly culture free and reasoning based test. Although our findings need to be validated on pathological participants, in our healthy population the BCI-based administration did not affect performance and added a further control of the response due to the several variables included and analyzed by the computerized task.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-250
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 30 2011


  • BCI
  • Brain-Computer Interface
  • Color Progressive Matrices Raven Test
  • Psychometric assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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