Detection of event-related potentials for development of a direct brain interface

Jane E. Huggins, Simon P. Levine, Spencer L. BeMent, Ramesh K. Kushwaha, Lori A. Schuh, Erasmo A. Passaro, Mitchell M. Rohde, Donald A. Ross, Kost V. Elisevich, Brien J. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The study presented here is part of an ongoing effort to develop a direct brain interface based on detection of event-related potentials (ERPs). In a study presented in a companion article, averaged ERP templates were identified from electrocorticograms recorded during repetition of voluntary motor actions. Here the authors report on the detection of individual motor ERPs within the electrocorticogram using cross-correlation. An averaged ERP template was created from the first half of each electrocorticogram and then cross-correlated with the continuous electrocorticogram from the second half. Points where the cross-correlation value exceeded an experimentally determined detection threshold were considered to be detection points. A detection point was considered to be a valid 'hit' if it occurred between 1 second before and 0.25 second after the recorded time of a voluntary action. The difference between the hit and false-positive percentages (HF-difference) was used as a metric of detection accuracy. HF-differences greater than 90 were found for 5 of 15 subjects, HF-differences greater than 75 were found for 8 of 15 subjects, and HF-differences greater than 50 were found for 12 of 15 subjects. The three other subjects with HF-differences less than 50 had electrode locations not well suited for recording movement-related ERPs. Recordings from sensorimotor and supplementary motor areas produced the highest yield of channels with HF-difference greater than 50; however, a number of channels with good performance were found in other areas as well. The results demonstrate the likely prospect of using ERP detection as the basis of a single-switch direct brain interface and that furthermore, there is a good possibility of obtaining multiple control channels using this approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)448-455
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Neurophysiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 3 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Assistive technology
  • Cross-correlation
  • Detection
  • Direct brain interface
  • Electrocorticogram (ECoG)
  • Event-related potential (ERP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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