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Title: An investigation of bio-electric interfaces for computer users with disabilities.
Author: Doherty, Eamon Patrick.
Awarding Body: University of Sunderland
Current Institution: University of Sunderland
Date of Award: 2001
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A commercially available brain-body interface, the `Cyberlink' which was developed by a Dr Andrew Junker, has been evaluated as a potential interface device for persons with a severe disability such as traumatic brain injury. The literature concerning brain computer interfaces and other input devices is surveyed and it is shown there is a need to investigate the Cyberlink as an assistive technology device for persons with a disability. The investigation was carried out in four phases, using forty-four persons with and without physical, mental and sensory impairments as participants. The first phase consisted of a survey of common assistive technology devices along with the Cyberlink. This demonstrated that many users were able to operate alternative devices. The second phase identified a group of distinct users that could only use a Cyberlink to both recreate and communicate with the outside world. These participants formed the focus group. A modified contextual inquiry and design was performed at the same time as the phase two studies. The data collected from the contextual inquiry and design drove the design for a communication application, developed in phase three, that gave the focus group the opportunity to select yes and no answers to questions. Phase four was the testing phase of the new yes / no application. This identified some design flaws that were addressed following a target acquisition study which showed that some paths in the design were difficult to steer through. New prototypes were created and tested using this data. The final yes / no program allowed the focus group to select yes and no answers on prompting, albeit with a les's than 100% success rate. Success appeared to depend on the focus group not beirighampered by the inconsistent debilitation of their injuries and medications. The utility of the Cyberlink for the focus group for recreating and performing elementary communication is thus demonstrated for occasions when settings are relevant, medications are not dampening bio-signals, and the inconsistencies of the brain injury allow them to control the cursor.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cyberlink; Brain-computer interface; Paralysed Computer engineering Human engineering Optoelectronics