Decoding of motor intentions from epidural ECoG recordings in severely paralyzed chronic stroke patients

M. Spüler, A. Walter, A. Ramos-Murguialday, G. Naros, N. Birbaumer, A. Gharabaghi, W. Rosenstiel, M. Bogdan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. Recently, there have been several approaches to utilize a brain-computer interface (BCI) for rehabilitation with stroke patients or as an assistive device for the paralyzed. In this study we investigated whether up to seven different hand movement intentions can be decoded from epidural electrocorticography (ECoG) in chronic stroke patients.

Approach. In a screening session we recorded epidural ECoG data over the ipsilesional motor cortex from four chronic stroke patients who had no residual hand movement. Data was analyzed offline using a support vector machine (SVM) to decode different movement intentions.

Main results. We showed that up to seven hand movement intentions can be decoded with an average accuracy of 61% (chance level 15.6%). When reducing the number of classes, average accuracies up to 88% can be achieved for decoding three different movement intentions.

Significance. The findings suggest that ipsilesional epidural ECoG can be used as a viable control signal for BCI-driven neuroprosthesis. Although patients showed no sign of residual hand movement, brain activity at the ipsilesional motor cortex still shows enough intention-related activity to decode different movement intentions with sufficient accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number066008
JournalJournal of Neural Engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2014


  • electrocorticography (ECOG)
  • stroke, brain-computer interface (BCI)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Medicine(all)


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