P300 Response Paper

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Dewan reported in 1967 [3] that he and several others could transmit letters of the alphabet using EEG recording; their ability to control voluntarily the amplitude of their alpha waves let them send letters using Morse code. Farwell and Donchin [4] used a second method for transmitting linguistic information by EEG; the P300 response to targets let them determine which of a sequence of displayed letters a person had in mind. Finally, Suppes and colleagues [5,6] reported that they were able to classify EEG responses to heard sentences and that there was information available through EEG concerning imagined speech. The work reported here verifies this latter result and develops it further, with the aim of using EEG brain waves to communicate imagined speech. Classification experiments show that brain-wave signatures of imagined speech lets one distinguish linguistic content, with varying degree of success. These signatures include differences in alpha-, beta- and theta-band activity. Our near-term goal is to use such signatures to design filters that let one distinguish linguistic elements in real time. One application is in further experiments which provide feedback to the thinker as to how recognizable a particular thought is, with the aim of training the thinker to produce brain waves which are more discernible. The focus within is on the results of a single experiment in which subjects produce in their imagination one of two syllables in
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Analysis of the data using envelopes within alpha, beta and theta frequency bands, spectral features within single bands, and spectrograms in present-day work show that EEG gives considerable information on imagined
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