Directional Decoding From EEG in a Center-Out Motor Imagery Task With Visual and Vibrotactile Guidance

Lea Hehenberger, Luka Batistic, Andreea I. Sburlea, Gernot R. Müller-Putz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Motor imagery is a popular technique employed as a motor rehabilitation tool, or to control assistive devices to substitute lost motor function. In both said areas of application, artificial somatosensory input helps to mirror the sensorimotor loop by providing kinesthetic feedback or guidance in a more intuitive fashion than via visual input. In this work, we study directional and movement-related information in electroencephalographic signals acquired during a visually guided center-out motor imagery task in two conditions, i.e., with and without additional somatosensory input in the form of vibrotactile guidance. Imagined movements to the right and forward could be discriminated in low-frequency electroencephalographic amplitudes with group level peak accuracies of 70% with vibrotactile guidance, and 67% without vibrotactile guidance. The peak accuracies with and without vibrotactile guidance were not significantly different. Furthermore, the motor imagery could be classified against a resting baseline with group level accuracies between 76 and 83%, using either low-frequency amplitude features or μ and β power spectral features. On average, accuracies were higher with vibrotactile guidance, while this difference was only significant in the latter set of features. Our findings suggest that directional information in low-frequency electroencephalographic amplitudes is retained in the presence of vibrotactile guidance. Moreover, they hint at an enhancing effect on motor-related μ and β spectral features when vibrotactile guidance is provided.

Original languageEnglish
Article number687252
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sept 2021


  • brain-computer interface
  • directional decoding
  • electroencephalography
  • kinesthetic guidance
  • motor imagery
  • vibrotactile guidance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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