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Real-time decoding of covert attention in higher-order visual areas

Ekanayake, J; Hutton, C; Ridgway, G; Scharnowski, F; Weiskopf, N; Rees, G; (2017) Real-time decoding of covert attention in higher-order visual areas. NeuroImage , 169 pp. 462-472. 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.12.019. Green open access

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Abstract

Brain-computer-interfaces (BCI) provide a means of using human brain activations to control devices for communication. Until now this has only been demonstrated in primary motor and sensory brain regions, using surgical implants or non-invasive neuroimaging techniques. Here, we provide proof-of-principle for the use of higher-order brain regions involved in complex cognitive processes such as attention. Using realtime fMRI, we implemented an online ‘winner-takes-all approach’ with quadrant-specific parameter estimates, to achieve single-block classification of brain activations. These were linked to the covert allocation of attention to real-world images presented at 4-quadrant locations. Accuracies in three target regions were significantly above chance, with individual decoding accuracies reaching upto 70%. By utilising higher order mental processes, ‘cognitive BCIs’ access varied and therefore more versatile information, potentially providing a platform for communication in patients who are unable to speak or move due to brain injury.

Type: Article
Title: Real-time decoding of covert attention in higher-order visual areas
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.12.019
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.12.019
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 Published by Elsevier Inc. This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10040571
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