Open Access

EEG-Based Asynchronous BCI Controls Functional Electrical Stimulation in a Tetraplegic Patient

  • Gert Pfurtscheller1Email author,
  • Gernot R. Müller-Putz2,
  • Jörg Pfurtscheller3 and
  • Rüdiger Rupp4
EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20052005:628453

DOI: 10.1155/ASP.2005.3152

Received: 29 January 2004

Published: 17 November 2005


The present study reports on the use of an EEG-based asynchronous (uncued, user-driven) brain-computer interface (BCI) for the control of functional electrical stimulation (FES). By the application of FES, noninvasive restoration of hand grasp function in a tetraplegic patient was achieved. The patient was able to induce bursts of beta oscillations by imagination of foot movement. These beta oscillations were recorded in a one EEG-channel configuration, bandpass filtered and squared. When this beta activity exceeded a predefined threshold, a trigger for the FES was generated. Whenever the trigger was detected, a subsequent switching of a grasp sequence composed of 4 phases occurred. The patient was able to grasp a glass with the paralyzed hand completely on his own without additional help or other technical aids.

Keywords and phrases

beta oscillations motor imagery functional electrical stimulation brain-computer interface spinal cord injury neuroprosthesis

Authors’ Affiliations

Laboratory of Brain-Computer Interfaces, Institute of Computer Graphics and Vision, and Ludwig Boltzmann-Institute for Medical Informatics and Neuroinformatics, Graz University of Technology
Laboratory of Brain-Computer Interfaces, Institute of Computer Graphics and Vision, Graz University of Technology
Department of Traumatology, Hospital Villach
Department II, Orthopedic Hospital of Heidelberg University


© Pfurtscheller et al. 2005