Effects of Mental Fatigue on 8-13 Hz Brain Activity in People with Spinal Cord Injury

Publisher:
IEEE
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Citation:
Proceedings of the 30th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2008, pp. 5716 - 5719
Issue Date:
2008-01
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Brain computer interfaces (BCIs) can be implemented into assistive technologies to provide âhands-freeâ control for the severely disabled. BCIs utilise voluntary changes in oneâs brain activity as a control mechanism to control devices in the personâs immediate environment. Performance of BCIs could be adversely affected by negative physiological conditions such as fatigue and altered electrophysiology commonly seen in spinal cord injury (SCI). This study examined the effects of mental fatigue from an increase in cognitive demand on the brain activity of those with SCI. Results show a trend of increased alpha (8-13Hz) activity in able-bodied controls after completing a set of cognitive tasks. Conversely, the SCI group showed a decrease in alpha activity due to mental fatigue. Results suggest that the brain activity of SCI persons are altered in its mechanism to adjust to mental fatigue. These altered brain conditions need to be addressed when using BCIs in clinical populations such as SCI. The findings have implications for the improvement of BCI technology.
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