Co-adaptive calibration to improve BCI efficiency

Carmen Vidaurre, Claudia Sannelli, Klaus Robert Müller, Benjamin Blankertz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Citations (Scopus)


All brain-computer interface (BCI) groups that have published results of studies involving a large number of users performing BCI control based on the voluntary modulation of sensorimotor rhythms (SMR) report that BCI control could not be achieved by a non-negligible number of subjects (estimated 20% to 25%). This failure of the BCI system to read the intention of the user is one of the greatest problems and challenges in BCI research. There are two main causes for this problem in SMR-based BCI systems: either no idle SMR is observed over motor areas of the user, or this idle rhythm is not modulated during motor imagery, resulting in a classification performance lower than 70% (criterion level) that renders the control of a BCI application (like a speller) difficult or impossible. Previously, we introduced the concept of machine learning based co-adaptive calibration, which provided substantially improved performance for a variety of users. Here, we use a similar approach and investigate to what extent co-adaptive learning enables significant BCI control for completely novice users, as well as for those who could not achieve control with a conventional SMR-based BCI.

Original languageEnglish
Article number025009
JournalJournal of Neural Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Apr

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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