Online from: 2007
Subject Area: Health and Social Care
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|Title:||Realistic expectations with brain computer interfaces|
|Author(s):||Maurice Mulvenna, (TRAIL Living Lab, School of Computing and Mathematics, University of Ulster, Newtownabbey, UK), Gaye Lightbody, (School of Computing and Mathematics, University of Ulster, Newtownabbey, UK), Eileen Thomson, (Deputy Chief Executive of the Cedar Foundation, Belfast, UK), Paul McCullagh, (School of Computing and Mathematics, University of Ulster, Newtownabbey, UK), Melanie Ware, (School of Computing and Mathematics, University of Ulster, Newtownabbey, UK), Suzanne Martin, (Co-director of the TRAIL Living Lab, School of Health Sciences, University of Ulster, Newtownabbey, UK)|
|Citation:||Maurice Mulvenna, Gaye Lightbody, Eileen Thomson, Paul McCullagh, Melanie Ware, Suzanne Martin, (2012) "Realistic expectations with brain computer interfaces", Journal of Assistive Technologies, Vol. 6 Iss: 4, pp.233 - 244|
|Keywords:||Brain, Brain computer interface, Computer applications, Configuration, Health care, Personalisation, Special purpose computers, Steady state visual evoked potential, Usability|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/17549451211285735 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
|Acknowledgements:||The BRAIN consortium would like to acknowledge all the people who participated in the field tests in Northern Ireland and Spain. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement no. 224156.|
Design/methodology/approach – The research took a user centred design approach involving representative end-users throughout the design and evaluation process. A qualitative study adopting user interviews alongside interactive workshops highlighted the issues that needed to be addressed in the development of a user interface for such a system. User validation then underpinned prototype development.
Findings – The findings of the research indicate that while there are still significant challenges in translating working BCI systems from the research laboratories to the homes of individuals with acquired brain injuries, participants are keen to be involved in the deign and development of such systems. In its current stage of development BCI is multi-facetted and uses complex software, which poses a significant usability challenge. This work also found that the performance of the BCI paradigm chosen was considerably better for those users with no disability than for those with acquired brain injury. Further work is required to identify how and whether this performance gap can be addressed.
Research limitations/implications – The research had significant challenges in terms of managing the complexity of the hardware and software set-up and transferring the working systems to be tested by participants in their home. Furthermore, the authors believe that the development of assistive technologies for the disabled user requires a significant additional level of personalisation and intensive support to the level normally required for non-disabled users. Coupled with the inherent complexity of BCI, this leads to technology that does not easily offer a solution to both disabled and non-disabled users.
Originality/value – The research contributes additional findings relating to the usability of BCI systems. The value of the work is to highlight the practical issues involved in translating such systems to participants where the acquired brain injury can impact on the ability of the participant to use the BCI system.
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