Multiscale temporal neural dynamics predict performance in a complex sensorimotor task

Wojciech Samek, Duncan A.J. Blythe, Gabriel Curio, Klaus Robert Müller, Benjamin Blankertz, Vadim V. Nikulin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Ongoing neuronal oscillations are pivotal in brain functioning and are known to influence subjects' performance. This modulation is usually studied on short time scales whilst multiple time scales are rarely considered. In our study we show that Long-Range Temporal Correlations (LRTCs) estimated from the amplitude of EEG oscillations over a range of time-scales predict performance in a complex sensorimotor task, based on Brain-Computer Interfacing (BCI). Our paradigm involved eighty subjects generating covert motor responses to dynamically changing visual cues and thus controlling a computer program through the modulation of neuronal oscillations. The neuronal dynamics were estimated with multichannel EEG. Our results show that: (a) BCI task accuracy may be predicted on the basis of LRTCs measured during the preceding training session, and (b) this result was not due to signal-to-noise ratio of the ongoing neuronal oscillations. Our results provide direct empirical evidence in addition to previous theoretical work suggesting that scale-free neuronal dynamics are important for optimal brain functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-303
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Nov 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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