Target-Related Alpha Attenuation in a Brain-Computer Interface Rapid Serial Visual Presentation Calibration

on behalf of the Consortium for Accessible Multimodal Brain-Body Interfaces (CAMBI)

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1 Scopus citations


This study evaluated the feasibility of using occipitoparietal alpha activity to drive target/non-target classification in a brain-computer interface (BCI) for communication. EEG data were collected from 12 participants who completed BCI Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) calibrations at two different presentation rates: 1 and 4 Hz. Attention-related changes in posterior alpha activity were compared to two event-related potentials (ERPs): N200 and P300. Machine learning approaches evaluated target/non-target classification accuracy using alpha activity. Results indicated significant alpha attenuation following target letters at both 1 and 4 Hz presentation rates, though this effect was significantly reduced in the 4 Hz condition. Target-related alpha attenuation was not correlated with coincident N200 or P300 target effects. Classification using posterior alpha activity was above chance and benefitted from individualized tuning procedures. These findings suggest that target-related posterior alpha attenuation is detectable in a BCI RSVP calibration and that this signal could be leveraged in machine learning algorithms used for RSVP or comparable attention-based BCI paradigms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number882557
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
StatePublished - Apr 21 2022


  • attention
  • brain-computer interface (BCI)
  • electroencephalography (EEG)
  • event-related potential (ERP)
  • N200
  • P300
  • posterior alpha
  • signal classification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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