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      The Importance of Visual Feedback Design in BCIs; from Embodiment to Motor Imagery Learning

      1 , * , 2 , 2 , 3

      PLoS ONE

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          Abstract

          Brain computer interfaces (BCIs) have been developed and implemented in many areas as a new communication channel between the human brain and external devices. Despite their rapid growth and broad popularity, the inaccurate performance and cost of user-training are yet the main issues that prevent their application out of the research and clinical environment. We previously introduced a BCI system for the control of a very humanlike android that could raise a sense of embodiment and agency in the operators only by imagining a movement (motor imagery) and watching the robot perform it. Also using the same setup, we further discovered that the positive bias of subjects’ performance both increased their sensation of embodiment and improved their motor imagery skills in a short period. In this work, we studied the shared mechanism between the experience of embodiment and motor imagery. We compared the trend of motor imagery learning when two groups of subjects BCI-operated different looking robots, a very humanlike android’s hands and a pair of metallic gripper. Although our experiments did not show a significant change of learning between the two groups immediately during one session, the android group revealed better motor imagery skills in the follow up session when both groups repeated the task using the non-humanlike gripper. This result shows that motor imagery skills learnt during the BCI-operation of humanlike hands are more robust to time and visual feedback changes. We discuss the role of embodiment and mirror neuron system in such outcome and propose the application of androids for efficient BCI training.

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          Most cited references 35

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          Mu rhythm (de)synchronization and EEG single-trial classification of different motor imagery tasks.

          We studied the reactivity of EEG rhythms (mu rhythms) in association with the imagination of right hand, left hand, foot, and tongue movement with 60 EEG electrodes in nine able-bodied subjects. During hand motor imagery, the hand mu rhythm blocked or desynchronized in all subjects, whereas an enhancement of the hand area mu rhythm was observed during foot or tongue motor imagery in the majority of the subjects. The frequency of the most reactive components was 11.7 Hz +/- 0.4 (mean +/- SD). While the desynchronized components were broad banded and centered at 10.9 Hz +/- 0.9, the synchronized components were narrow banded and displayed higher frequencies at 12.0 Hz +/- 1.0. The discrimination between the four motor imagery tasks based on classification of single EEG trials improved when, in addition to event-related desynchronization (ERD), event-related synchronization (ERS) patterns were induced in at least one or two tasks. This implies that such EEG phenomena may be utilized in a multi-class brain-computer interface (BCI) operated simply by motor imagery.
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            Cognitive motor processes: the role of motor imagery in the study of motor representations.

            Motor imagery is viewed as a window to cognitive motor processes and particularly to motor control. Mental simulation theory [Jeannerod, M., 2001. Neural simulation of action: a unifying mechanism for motor cognition. NeuroImage 14, 103-109] stresses that cognitive motor processes such as motor imagery and action observation share the same representations as motor execution. This article presents an overview of motor imagery studies in cognitive psychology and neuroscience that support and extend predictions from mental simulation theory. In general, behavioral data as well as fMRI and TMS data demonstrate that motor areas in the brain play an important role in motor imagery. After discussing results on a close overlap between mental and actual performance durations, the review focuses specifically on studies reporting an activation of primary motor cortex during motor imagery. This focus is extended to studies on motor imagery in patients. Motor imagery is also analyzed in more applied fields such as mental training procedures in patients and athletes. These findings support the notion that mental training procedures can be applied as a therapeutic tool in rehabilitation and in applications for power training.
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              Risk of venous thromboembolism in people admitted to hospital with selected immune-mediated diseases: record-linkage study

              Background Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a common complication during and after a hospital admission. Although it is mainly considered a complication of surgery, it often occurs in people who have not undergone surgery, with recent evidence suggesting that immune-mediated diseases may play a role in VTE risk. We, therefore, decided to study the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) in people admitted to hospital with a range of immune-mediated diseases. Methods We analysed databases of linked statistical records of hospital admissions and death certificates for the Oxford Record Linkage Study area (ORLS1:1968 to 1998 and ORLS2:1999 to 2008) and the whole of England (1999 to 2008). Rate ratios for VTE were determined, comparing immune-mediated disease cohorts with comparison cohorts. Results Significantly elevated risks of VTE were found, in all three populations studied, in people with a hospital record of admission for autoimmune haemolytic anaemia, chronic active hepatitis, dermatomyositis/polymyositis, type 1 diabetes mellitus, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, myxoedema, pemphigus/pemphigoid, polyarteritis nodosa, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren's syndrome, and systemic lupus erythematosus. Rate ratios were considerably higher for some of these diseases than others: for example, for systemic lupus erythematosus the rate ratios were 3.61 (2.36 to 5.31) in the ORLS1 population, 4.60 (3.19 to 6.43) in ORLS2 and 3.71 (3.43 to 4.02) in the England dataset. Conclusions People admitted to hospital with immune-mediated diseases may be at an increased risk of subsequent VTE. Our findings need independent confirmation or refutation; but, if confirmed, there may be a role for thromboprophylaxis in some patients with these diseases.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                6 September 2016
                2016
                : 11
                : 9
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of General Systems Studies, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
                [2 ]Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR), Kyoto, Japan
                [3 ]Department of Systems Innovation, Graduate School of Engineering Science, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan
                National University of Defense Technology College of Mechatronic Engineering and Automation, CHINA
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                • Conceptualization: MA SN.

                • Formal analysis: MA.

                • Funding acquisition: HI SN MA.

                • Investigation: MA.

                • Methodology: MA SN.

                • Project administration: SN HI.

                • Software: MA.

                • Supervision: SN HI.

                • Validation: SN.

                • Writing – original draft: MA.

                • Writing – review & editing: SN HI.

                Article
                PONE-D-16-16461
                10.1371/journal.pone.0161945
                5012560
                27598310
                © 2016 Alimardani et al

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 5, Tables: 0, Pages: 17
                Product
                Funding
                Funded by: Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research
                Award ID: 25220004
                Award Recipient :
                Funded by: Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research
                Award ID: 26540109
                Award Recipient :
                This research was supported by KAKENHI ( https://www.jsps.go.jp/english/e-grants/) (Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research) grant number 25220004 to HI, 26540109 to SN and 15F15046 to MA. This research was also supported by ImPACT Program of Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (Cabinet Office, Government of Japan) to SN. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
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