Neuroimaging studies have provided proof that loss of balance evokes specific neural transient wave complexes in electroencephalography (EEG), called perturbation evoked potentials (PEPs). Online decoding of balance perturbations from ongoing EEG signals can establish the possibility of implementing passive brain-computer interfaces (pBCIs) as a part of aviation/driving assistant systems. In this study, we investigated the feasibility of identifying the existence and expression of perturbations in four different conditions by using EEG signals. Fifteen healthy participants experienced four various postural changes while they sat in a glider cockpit. Sudden perturbations were exposed by a robot connected to a glider and moved to the right and left directions with tilting angles of 5 and 10 degrees. Perturbations occurred in an oddball paradigm in which participants were not aware of the time and expression of the perturbations. We employed a hierarchical approach to separate the perturbation and rest, and then discriminate the expression of perturbations. The performance of the BCI system was evaluated by using classification accuracy and F1 score. Asynchronously, we achieved average accuracies of 89.83 and 73.64% and average F1 scores of 0.93 and 0.60 for binary and multiclass classification, respectively. These results manifest the practicality of pBCI for the detection of balance disturbances in a realistic situation.
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