Coupling BCI and cortical stimulation for brain-state-dependent stimulation: Methods for spectral estimation in the presence of stimulation after-effects

Armin Walter, Ander R. Murguialday, Wolfgang Rosenstiel, Niels Birbaumer, Martin Bogdan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Brain-state-dependent stimulation (BSDS) combines brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) and cortical stimulation into one paradigm that allows the online decoding for example of movement intention from brain signals while simultaneously applying stimulation. If the BCI decoding is performed by spectral features, stimulation after-effects such as artefacts and evoked activity present a challenge for a successful implementation of BSDS because they can impair the detection of targeted brain states. Therefore, efficient and robust methods are needed to minimize the influence of the stimulation-induced effects on spectral estimation without violating the real-time constraints of the BCI. In this work, we compared four methods for spectral estimation with autoregressive (AR) models in the presence of pulsed cortical stimulation. Using combined EEG-TMS (electroencephalography-transcranial magnetic stimulation) as well as combined electrocorticography (ECoG) and epidural electrical stimulation, three patients performed a motor task using a sensorimotor-rhythm BCI. Three stimulation paradigms were varied between sessions: (1) no stimulation, (2) single stimulation pulses applied independently (open-loop), or (3) coupled to the BCI output (closed-loop) such that stimulation was given only while an intention to move was detected using neural data. We found that removing the stimulation after-effects by linear interpolation can introduce a bias in the estimation of the spectral power of the sensorimotor rhythm, leading to an overestimation of decoding performance in the closed-loop setting. We propose the use of the Burg algorithm for segmented data to deal with stimulation after-effects. This work shows that the combination of BCIs controlled with spectral features and cortical stimulation in a closed-loop fashion is possible when the influence of stimulation after-effects on spectral estimation is minimized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalFrontiers in Neural Circuits
Issue numberNOV
Publication statusPublished - Nov 16 2012


  • Autoregressive models
  • Brain-computer interfaces
  • Brain-state-dependent stimulation
  • Cortical stimulation
  • Spectral estimation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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