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Electroencéphalographie et Interfaces Cerveau-Machine : nouvelles méthodes pour étudier les états mentaux

Abstract : With new technological advances in functional brain imaging and theoretical progress in the knowledge of the different neurophysiologic processes linked to cognition, the last two decades have seen the emergence of Brain-Machine Interfaces (BCIs) allowing a person to observe in real-time, or with a few seconds delay, his own cerebral activity. Clinical domain in general, and more particularly neuropsychology and pathologies leading to heavy motor handicaps, for which potential applications are numerous, whether therapeutic or for functional rehabilitation, has been a major driver of research on this new field of real-time neurosciences. Among these applications, neurofeedback, or neurotherapy, which aims the subject to voluntary control some aspects of his own cerebral activity in order to amplify or reduce them in a therapeutic goal, or for cognitive optimization, represents a promising technique, and an alternative to drug treatments. However, validation of this type of intervention and understanding of involved mechanisms are still in their infancy. Neurofeedback training is often long, up to several weeks. It is therefore very likely that this type of rehabilitation is seeking brain plasticity phenomena that are part of slow dynamics, and thus require a relatively long drive to achieve the desired long-term effects. However, other disturbing elements that could add up to the cause of the difficulty of learning and long training sessions required to achieve the expected results. Among them, the disturbances that come from recorded signal distortions, or artifactual elements that are not part of the signal of interest, are a first potential cause. The lack of functional specificity of the signal returned to the subject could be a second one. We have developed signal processing methodological tools to improve the robustness to artifacts and electromagnetic noise of EEG signals analysis, the main brain imaging technique used so far in the field of neurofeedback and BCIs. On the other hand, if one looks at the issue of functional specificity of the signal presented to the subject, studies using functional MRI or source reconstruction methods from the EEG signal, which both provide signals having a better spatial specificity, suggest improvements to the speed of learning. Seeing Independent Component Analysis as a potential tool to increase the spatial specificity and functional contingency of the feedback signal presented to the subject, we studied the stability of Independent Component Analysis decomposition of the EEG across different recording sessions conducted on the same subjects. We show that these decompositions are stable and could help to increase the functional specificity of BCI training. We also worked on the implementation of a software tool that allows the optimization of experimental protocols based on neurofeedback to use these independent components to reject artifacts or to extract brain activity in real-time. These tools are useful in the analysis and characterization of EEG signals recorded, and in the exploitation of their results as part of a neurofeedback training. The second part focuses on the development of neurofeedback protocols and the impact of learning. We first describe the results of a pilot study which seeks to evaluate the impact of a neurofeedback protocol based on the Mu rhythm control on healthy subjects. The behavioral changes were studied using a stop signal paradigm that indexes the attentional abilities and inhibition of motor responses on which the BCI training can possibly have influence. To conclude this section, we present a new tool for immersive interactive brain training, education, art and entertainment that can be used to assess the impact of immersion on learning during a neurofeedback protocol. Finally, prospects for methods and results presented are discussed in the context of next-generation BCI development which could take brain activity complexity into account. We present the latest advances in the study of certain aspects of the neural correlates associated with two mental states or classes of mental states that could be described as antagonistic with respect to the control of attention: meditation and mind wandering, for their integration in the longer term in an BCI training using neurofeedback.
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Submitted on : Friday, March 22, 2013 - 2:48:41 PM
Last modification on : Monday, October 19, 2020 - 11:11:39 AM


  • HAL Id : tel-00803635, version 1



Romain Grandchamp. Electroencéphalographie et Interfaces Cerveau-Machine : nouvelles méthodes pour étudier les états mentaux. Neurosciences. Université Paul Sabatier - Toulouse III, 2012. Français. ⟨tel-00803635⟩



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