Towards multimodal BCIs: the impact of peripheral control on motor cortex activity and sense of agency


In the recent years, brain computer interfaces (BCI) using motor imagery have shown some limitations regarding the quality of control. In an effort to improve this promising technology, some studies intended to develop hybrid BCI with other technologies such as eye tracking which shows more reliability. However, the use of an eye tracker in the control of a robot might affect by itself the sense of agency (SoA) and the brain activity in the regions used for motor imagery (MI). Here, we explore the link between the sense of agency and the activity of the motor cortex. For this purpose, we used of a virtual arm projected on a surface which is either controlled by motion capture or controlled by gaze using an eye tracker. We found out that there is an activity in the motor cortex during the task of control by gaze and that having control over a projected robotic arm presents significant differences with the situation of observing the robot moving.

2021 43rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine Biology Society (EMBC)