The webinar consisted of two presentations:
Advancing Brain-Computer Interfaces from Bench to Bedside for Neurorehabilitation using TMS-Neurofeedback by Dr Kathy Ruddy, School of Psychology, Queen’s University, Belfast
Studies using BCIs based upon non-invasive, scalp recorded electroencephalography (EEG) have consistently demonstrated utility, both as scientific tools for neuromodulation and for clinical neurorehabilitation purposes. They are particularly appealing in clinical contexts where physical movement is impaired, for instance following stroke.
Using a BCI where on-screen avatars are driven by neural activation in motor regions encourages the patient to engage in imagined or attempted movements. By providing tangible visual feedback and rewarding desirable neural features, activity in motor pathways is maintained. This may promote use-dependant plasticity and rewiring for recovery of function. However, clinical adoption of the approach has been limited. This is due mainly to difficulties with implementation in non-research settings, as training to achieve neural control of the BCI requires lengthy sessions over multiple days or weeks (Simon et al., 2021).
Neurofeedback of Motor Evoked Potential (MEP) amplitude in response to TMS (TMS-NF) gives direct, real-time muscle-specific feedback, even in situations where the user is unable to generate functional movements. In this talk I will present results demonstrating that priming participants with two days of TMS-NF results in shorter training times and more optimal use of the EEG BCI, making the approach more clinically useful.
Brain-computer Interface in the Field, EEG-based Neurofeedback Therapy for PTSD by Dr Alain Bigirimana, School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Science, Queen’s University, Belfast
Brain-computer interface (BCI) applications are mostly clinical applications, and BCI researchers keep looking for effective and efficient way to deliver these applications.
This talk is based on EEG-based neurofeedback used as treatment for PTSD symptoms and will describe methods and technology used in a pilot study that was conducted. The results for this study will be presented. Besides describing the methodology used in the study, the recommendations for improving the methods in the study will be considered.