BCI inside a virtual reality classroom: a potential training tool for attention

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Background: A growing population is diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and are currently being treated with psychostimulants. Brain Computer Interface (BCI) is a method of communicating with an external program or device based on measured electrical signals from the brain. A particular brain signal, the P300 potential, can be measured about 300 ms after a voluntary cognitive involvement to external stimuli. By utilizing the P300 potential, we have designed a BCI- assisted exercising tool targeting attention enhancement within an immersive 3D virtual reality (VR) classroom.
Methods: Combining a low-cost infrared camera with an “off-axis perspective projection” algorithm to achieve the illusion of 3D, an engaging training environment has been created. The setup also includes a single measurement electrode placed on the scalp above the parietal lobe (Pz). Two sets of experiments have been performed to elicit the P300 potential. One used a system which is a variant of Farwell and Donchin’s famous P300 speller and the other used a system where the user is required to search for a specific letter in a series of changing images. A non-linear optimized support vector machine (SVM) classifier has been used to automatically detect the P300 potential.
Results: Six subjects have participated in the preliminary experiment to test the prototype system, and an average error rate below 0.30 have been achieved, which is noteworthy considering the simplicity of the scheme.
Conclusions: This work has successfully demonstrated a non-intrusive, low-cost, and portable system targeting attention in a motivating and engaging environment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalE P J Nonlinear Biomedical Physics
Issue number12
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.


  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Brain computer interfaces (BCI)
  • Neurorehabilitation
  • P300
  • Virtual reality

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