Arm Flexion and Extension Exercises using a Brain-Computer Interface and Functional Electrical Stimulation

H.G. Tan, H.H. Zhang, C.C. Wang, C.Y. Shee, W.T. Ang, and C.T. Guan (Singapore)

Keywords

Brain-computer interface, functional electrical stimulation, neuroprosthesis, stroke, rehabilitation.

Abstract

Cerebrovascular infarctions and force traumas are major causes of damage to the central nervous system and result in paralysis. As the central nervous system has limited ability to regenerate or repair itself, regaining of voluntary motor function is thus highly dependent on neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to reorganize to compensate for lost function or new environmental requirements. Neuroplasticity, unfortunately, seldom allows paralysed persons to recover fully, and there is a need to reanimate the paretic limb. This paper presents a neuroprosthesis that employs a brain-computer interface (BCI) to control functional electrical stimulation (FES) of skeletal muscles to move the arm. The EEG-based BCI analyses μ (mu) and β (beta) frequency bands and is used to control a cursor on-screen. The GUI allows the user to perform either of two movements through electrical stimulation of the flexors or extensors. When the user’s intention is deciphered, electrical pulses are sent via surface electrodes to the respective muscles to produce tetanic contraction. Joint angle is used as feedback to control stimulation of the limb in order to achieve the desired movement.

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