A Low-Cost Computational Method for Characterizing Event-Related Potentials for BCI Applications and beyond

Vinicio Changoluisa, Pablo Varona, Francisco De Borja Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Event-related potentials (ERPs) are important neurophysiological markers widely used in scientific, medical and engineering contexts. Proper ERP detection contributes to widening the scope of use and, in general, improving functionality. The morphology and latency of ERPs are variable among subject sessions, which complicates their detection. Although variability is an intrinsic feature of neuronal activity, it can be addressed with novel views on ERP detection techniques. In this paper, we propose an agile method for characterizing and thus detecting variable ERPs, which keeps track of their temporal and spatial information through the continuous measurement of the area under the curve in ERP components. We illustrate the usefulness of the proposed ERP characterization for electrode selection in brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) and compare the results with other standard methods. We assess ERP classification for BCI use with Bayesian linear discriminant analysis (BLDA) and cross-validation. We also evaluate performance with both the information transfer rate and BCI utility. The results of our validation tests show that this characterization helps to take advantage of the information on the evolution of positive and negative ERP components and, therefore, to efficiently select electrodes for optimized ERP detection. The proposed method improves the classification accuracy and bitrate of all sets of electrodes analyzed. Furthermore, the method is robust between different day sessions. Our work contributes to the efficient detection of ERPs, manages inter- and intrasubject variability, decreases the computational cost of classic detection methods and contributes to promoting low-cost personalized brain-computer interfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9109285
Pages (from-to)111089-111101
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Access
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Predoctoral Research Grants of the Ecuador Government through of the Secretaría de Educación Superior, Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (SENESCYT) under Grant 2015-AR2Q9086, and by the Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades/FEDER under the Spanish Government Grants: TIN2017-84452-R, DPI2015-65833-P and PGC2018-095895-B-I00.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 IEEE.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • brain-machine interface
  • continuous ERP characterization
  • event-related potentials
  • inter- and intrasubject variability
  • negative ERP
  • online electrode selection
  • P300
  • Personalized brain-computer interface
  • positive ERP


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