P300-based brain-computer interface for environmental control: An asynchronous approach

F. Aloise, F. Schettini, P. Aricò, F. Leotta, S. Salinari, D. Mattia, F. Babiloni, F. Cincotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Brain-computer interface (BCI) systems allow people with severe motor disabilities to communicate and interact with the external world. The P300 potential is one of the most used control signals for EEG-based BCIs. Classic P300-based BCIs work in a synchronous mode; the synchronous control assumes that the user is constantly attending to the stimulation, and the number of stimulation sequences is fixed a priori. This issue is an obstacle for the use of these systems in everyday life; users will be engaged in a continuous control state, their distractions will cause misclassification and the speed of selection will not take into account users' current psychophysical condition. An efficient BCI system should be able to understand the user's intentions from the ongoing EEG instead. Also, it has to refrain from making a selection when the user is engaged in a different activity and it should increase or decrease its speed of selection depending on the current user's state. We addressed these issues by introducing an asynchronous BCI and tested its capabilities for effective environmental monitoring, involving 11 volunteers in three recording sessions. Results show that this BCI system can increase the bit rate during control periods while the system is proved to be very efficient in avoiding false negatives when the users are engaged in other tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number025025
JournalJournal of Neural Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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