Image_6_Use of Sine Shaped High-Frequency Rhythmic Visual Stimuli Patterns for SSVEP Response Analysis and Fatigue Rate Evaluation in Normal Subjects.PDF

Background: Recent EEG-SSVEP signal based BCI studies have used high frequency square pulse visual stimuli to reduce subjective fatigue. However, the effect of total harmonic distortion (THD) has not been considered. Compared to CRT and LCD monitors, LED screen displays high-frequency wave with better refresh rate. In this study, we present high frequency sine wave simple and rhythmic patterns with low THD rate by LED to analyze SSVEP responses and evaluate subjective fatigue in normal subjects.

Materials and Methods: We used patterns of 3-sequence high-frequency sine waves (25, 30, and 35 Hz) to design our visual stimuli. Nine stimuli patterns, 3 simple (repetition of each of above 3 frequencies e.g., P25-25-25) and 6 rhythmic (all of the frequencies in 6 different sequences e.g., P25-30-35) were chosen. A hardware setup with low THD rate (<0.1%) was designed to present these patterns on LED. Twenty two normal subjects (aged 23–30 (25 ± 2.1) yrs) were enrolled. Visual analog scale (VAS) was used for subjective fatigue evaluation after presentation of each stimulus pattern. PSD, CCA, and LASSO methods were employed to analyze SSVEP responses. The data including SSVEP features and fatigue rate for different visual stimuli patterns were statistically evaluated.

Results: All 9 visual stimuli patterns elicited SSVEP responses. Overall, obtained accuracy rates were 88.35% for PSD and > 90% for CCA and LASSO (for TWs > 1 s). High frequency rhythmic patterns group with low THD rate showed higher accuracy rate (99.24%) than simple patterns group (98.48%). Repeated measure ANOVA showed significant difference between rhythmic pattern features (P < 0.0005). Overall, there was no significant difference between the VAS of rhythmic [3.85 ± 2.13] compared to the simple patterns group [3.96 ± 2.21], (P = 0.63). Rhythmic group had lower within group VAS variation (min = P25-30-35 [2.90 ± 2.45], max = P35-25-30 [4.81 ± 2.65]) as well as least individual pattern VAS (P25-30-35).

Discussion and Conclusion: Overall, rhythmic and simple pattern groups had higher and similar accuracy rates. Rhythmic stimuli patterns showed insignificantly lower fatigue rate than simple patterns. We conclude that both rhythmic and simple visual high frequency sine wave stimuli require further research for human subject SSVEP-BCI studies.