Steven Bedrick

Effects of simulated visual acuity and ocular motility impairments on SSVEP brain-computer interface performance: An experiment with Shuffle Speller

Betts Peters, Matt Higger, Fernando Quivira, Steven Bedrick, Shiran Dudy, Brandon Eddy, Michelle Kinsella, Tab Memmott, Jack Wiedrick, Melanie Fried-Oken, Deniz Erdogmus, Barry Oken
Brain Comput Interfaces (Abingdon), Jan 2018


Individuals with severe speech and physical impairments may have concomitant visual acuity impairments (VAI) or ocular motility impairments (OMI) impacting visual BCI use. We report on the use of the Shuffle Speller typing interface for an SSVEP BCI copy-spelling task under three conditions: simulated VAI, simulated OMI, and unimpaired vision. To mitigate the effect of visual impairments, we introduce a method that adaptively selects a user-specific trial length to maximize expected information transfer rate (ITR); expected ITR is shown to closely approximate the rate of correct letter selections. All participants could type under the unimpaired and simulated VAI conditions, with no significant differences in typing accuracy or speed. Most participants (31 of 37) could not type under the simulated OMI condition; some achieved high accuracy but with slower typing speeds. Reported workload and discomfort were low, and satisfaction high, under the unimpaired and simulated VAI conditions. Implications and future directions to examine effect of visual impairment on BCI use is discussed.

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