Investigation of the effect of EEG-BCI on the simultaneous execution of flight simulation and attentional tasks

Giovanni Vecchiato, Gianluca Borghini, Pietro Aricò, Ilenia Graziani, Anton Giulio Maglione, Patrizia Cherubino, Fabio Babiloni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Brain–computer interfaces (BCIs) are widely used for clinical applications and exploited to design robotic and interactive systems for healthy people. We provide evidence to control a sensorimotor electroencephalographic (EEG) BCI system while piloting a flight simulator and attending a double attentional task simultaneously. Ten healthy subjects were trained to learn how to manage a flight simulator, use the BCI system, and answer to the attentional tasks independently. Afterward, the EEG activity was collected during a first flight where subjects were required to concurrently use the BCI, and a second flight where they were required to simultaneously use the BCI and answer to the attentional tasks. Results showed that the concurrent use of the BCI system during the flight simulation does not affect the flight performances. However, BCI performances decrease from the 83 to 63 % while attending additional alertness and vigilance tasks. This work shows that it is possible to successfully control a BCI system during the execution of multiple tasks such as piloting a flight simulator with an extra cognitive load induced by attentional tasks. Such framework aims to foster the knowledge on BCI systems embedded into vehicles and robotic devices to allow the simultaneous execution of secondary tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalMedical and Biological Engineering and Computing
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Dec 8 2015


  • Alertness
  • Brain computer interface
  • Electroencephalography
  • Flight simulator
  • Vigilance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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