Review of Brain-Computer Interfaces based on the P300 evoked potential
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Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) can be used as a communication and control system for people with severe motor disorders. A BCI is a communication system in which intensions can be sent to the external world without the use of normal peripheral nerves or muscles. Several electrophysiological characteristics can be extracted from the human EEG to control the BCI system. The P300 evoked potential is used in many BCI systems because it is a typical and naive response to a desired choice. An important advantage of a P300-based BCI is that it requires no user’s training. However, the P300 can be influenced by different human factors such as attention, motivation and fatigue. The extent to which such factors affect BCI operation remain to be explored. The same applies to BCI operation in real life situations. Important applications are word-spelling devices (e.g. P300 speller) wheelchair control using a P300-based BCI. Present day BCIs still have shortcomings (e.g. low transfer rates) that prevent their widespread deployment. Future research should not only focus on improving transfer rates and accuracy, but also on using bit rates more efficiently. The use of BCIs in home environment by both people with severe motor disorders and healthy people need to be explored before BCIs can be introduced to the population.