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Preliminary Assessment of hands motor imagery in theta- and beta-bands for Brain-Machine-Interfaces using functional connectivity analysis

The use of time- and frequency-based features has proven effective in the process of classifying mental tasks in Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs). Still, most of those methods provide little insight about the underlying brain activity and functions. Thus, a better understanding of the mechanisms and dynamics of brain activity, is necessary in order to obtain useful and informative features for BCIs. In the present study, the objective is to investigate the differences in functional connectivity of two motor imagery tasks, through a partial directed coherence (PDC) analysis, which is a frequency-domain metric that provides information about directionality in the interaction between signals recorded at different channels. Four healthy subjects participated in this study, two mental tasks were evaluated: Imagination of the movement of the right hand or left hand. We carry out the differentiation of these tasks through two different approaches: on one hand, the traditional one based on spectral power; on the other hand, an approach based on PDC. The results showed that EEG-based PDC analysis provides additional information and it can potentially improve the feature selection mainly in the beta frequency band.


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