Emotional faces boost up steady-state visual responsesforbrain-computer interface

Hovagim Bakardjian, Toshihisa Tanaka, Andrzej Cichocki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) can be used successfully for brain-computer interfaces (BCI) with multiple commands and high information transfer rates. Inthis study, we investigated a novel affective SSVEP paradigm using flickering video clips of emotional human faces, and evaluated their performance in an 8-command BCI controlling a robotic arm in near real-time. Single-trial affective SSVEP responses, estimated using a new phase-locking value variability and a wavelet energy variability measures, were significantly enhanced compared with blurred-face flicker and standard checkerboards. For multicommand SSVEP-based BCI, affective face-flicker boosted up the information transfer rates from 50 to 64 bits/min, while reducing user fatigue and enhancing visual attention and reliability. In the 5-12 Hz flicker frequency range, the strongest affective SSVEP responses were obtained at 10 Hz. These findings suggest new directions for SSVEP-based neural applications, including affective BCI and enhanced steady-state clinical probes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-125
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • affective steady-state visual evoked potential
  • brain-computer interface
  • emotions
  • phase-locking value
  • steady-state visual evoked potentials
  • visual attention


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