Identification of electrocorticogram patterns as the basis for a direct brain interface

Simon P. Levine, Jane E. Huggins, Spencer L. BeMent, Ramesh K. Kushwaha, Lori A. Schuh, Erasmo A. Passaro, Mitchell M. Rohde, Donald A. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


This study reports on the first step in the development of a direct brain interface based on the identification of event-related potentials (ERPs) from an electrocorticogram obtained from the surface of the cortex. Ten epilepsy surgery patients, undergoing monitoring with subdural electrode strips and grid arrays, participated in this study. Electrocorticograms were continuously recorded while subjects performed multiple repetitions for each of several motor actions. ERP templates were identified from action-triggered electrocorticogram averages using an amplitude criterion. At least one ERP template was identified for all 10 subjects and in 56% of all electrode- recording sets resulting from a subject performing an action. These results were obtained with electrodes placed solely for clinical purposes and not for research needs. Eighty-two percent of the identified ERPs began before the trigger, indicating the presence of premovement ERP components. The regions yielding the highest probability of valid ERP identification were the sensorimotor cortex (precentral and postcentral gyri) and anterior frontal lobe, although a number were recorded from other areas as well. The recording locations for multiple ERPs arising from the performance of a specific action were usually found on close-by electrodes. ERPs associated with different actions were occasionally identified from the same recording site but often had noticeably different characteristics. The results of this study support the use of ERPs recorded from the cortical surface as a basis for a direct brain interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-447
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Neurophysiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Assistive technology
  • Brain computer interface
  • Brain interface
  • Direct brain interface
  • Electrocorticogram (ECoG)
  • Event-related potential (ERP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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