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1.  Automatic single-trial discrimination of mental arithmetic, mental singing and the no-control state from prefrontal activity: toward a three-state NIRS-BCI 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:141.
Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is an optical imaging technology that has recently been investigated for use in a safe, non-invasive brain-computer interface (BCI) for individuals with severe motor impairments. To date, most NIRS-BCI studies have attempted to discriminate two mental states (e.g., a mental task and rest), which could potentially lead to a two-choice BCI system. In this study, we attempted to automatically differentiate three mental states - specifically, intentional activity due to 1) a mental arithmetic (MA) task and 2) a mental singing (MS) task, and 3) an unconstrained, "no-control (NC)" state - to investigate the feasibility of a three-choice system-paced NIRS-BCI.
Deploying a dual-wavelength frequency domain near-infrared spectrometer, we interrogated nine sites around the frontopolar locations while 7 able-bodied adults performed mental arithmetic and mental singing to answer multiple-choice questions within a system-paced paradigm. With a linear classifier trained on a ten-dimensional feature set, an overall classification accuracy of 56.2% was achieved for the MA vs. MS vs. NC classification problem and all individual participant accuracies significantly exceeded chance (i.e., 33%). However, as anticipated based on results of previous work, the three-class discrimination was unsuccessful for three participants due to the ineffectiveness of the mental singing task. Excluding these three participants increases the accuracy rate to 62.5%. Even without training, three of the remaining four participants achieved accuracies approaching 70%, the value often cited as being necessary for effective BCI communication.
These results are encouraging and demonstrate the potential of a three-state system-paced NIRS-BCI with two intentional control states corresponding to mental arithmetic and mental singing.
PMCID: PMC3359174  PMID: 22414111
2.  The effects of head movement on dual-axis cervical accelerometry signals 
BMC Research Notes  2010;3:269.
Head motions can severely affect dual-axis cervical acceloremetry signals. A complete understanding of the effects of head motion is required before a robust accelerometry-based medical device can be developed. In this paper, we examine the spectral characteristics of dual-axis cervical accelerometry signals in the absence of swallowing but in the presence of head motions.
Data from 50 healthy adults were collected while participants performed five different head motions. Three different spectral features were extracted from each recording: peak frequency, spectral centroid and bandwidth. Statistical analyses showed that peak frequencies are independent of the type of head motion, participant gender and age. However, spectral centroids are statistically different between the anterior-posterior (A-P) and superior-inferior (S-I) directions and between different motion. Additionally, statistically different bandwidths are observed for head tilts down and back between the A-P and the S-I directions.
These differences indicate that head motions induce additional non-dominant spectral components in dual-axis cervical recordings. The results presented here suggest that head motion ought to be considered in the development of medical devices based on dual-axis cervical accelerometery signals.
PMCID: PMC2990744  PMID: 20977753
3.  Investigating the correlation between paediatric stride interval persistence and gross energy expenditure 
BMC Research Notes  2010;3:47.
Stride interval persistence, a term used to describe the correlation structure of stride interval time series, is thought to provide insight into neuromotor control, though its exact clinical meaning has not yet been realized. Since human locomotion is shaped by energy efficient movements, it has been hypothesized that stride interval dynamics and energy expenditure may be inherently tied, both having demonstrated similar sensitivities to age, disease, and pace-constrained walking.
This study tested for correlations between stride interval persistence and measures of energy expenditure including mass-specific gross oxygen consumption per minute (), mass-specific gross oxygen cost per meter (VO2) and heart rate (HR). Metabolic and stride interval data were collected from 30 asymptomatic children who completed one 10-minute walking trial under each of the following conditions: (i) overground walking, (ii) hands-free treadmill walking, and (iii) handrail-supported treadmill walking. Stride interval persistence was not significantly correlated with (p > 0.32), VO2 (p > 0.18) or HR (p > 0.56).
No simple linear dependence exists between stride interval persistence and measures of gross energy expenditure in asymptomatic children when walking overground and on a treadmill.
PMCID: PMC2845146  PMID: 20184778

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