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EEG System Comparison

Non-Invasive Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) are rapidly gaining acceptance as a potential form of assistive technology (AT) that may be extremely beneficial to individuals with severe motor impairments. However, there are a number of barriers and unknowns that currently prevent the development of BCI systems that are practical enough for everyday use by users with severe motor impairments.

In this project, we seek to overcome a major practical barrier by determining what properties electroencephalography (EEG) systems should have in order to be suitable for use in practical BCI systems. Particularly, we are interested in investigating which EEG acquisition systems perform well in home environments for users with severe motor impairments and are practical for use in AT devices.  In order to achieve this, we have begun to bring BCI systems out of laboratory environments and into the home environments of users with severe motor impairments.

Here are some properties that are important to consider when selecting an EEG system for use in a practical BCI:

  • Is the quality of the signals good enough in real-world environments (e.g., homes, hospitals, office buildings, et cetra)?
  • How susceptible is the EEG system to external interference?
  • How difficult is the setup and cap application process and how long does it take?
  • How long does the EEG system operate before the cap needs to be re-applied?
  • How long can the EEG system function before batteries need to be recharged?
  • How comfortable is the system?
  • How expensive is the system?
  • How heavy is the system?
  • Is the entire package portable?
  • Is it difficult to program interfaces that work with the EEG system?