Realistic video games for BCI aimed at neurofeedback-based cognitive rehabilitation therapies
AbstractCognitive rehabilitation of young patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) consists of behavioural and pharmacological therapies, which present disadvantages. It is necessary to develop new therapeutic methods, such as alternatives based on Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI). BCI record the electric brain activity of the patient using the electroencephalogram (EEG) and process it to give a feedback, which is known as neurofeedback. In this work a software was developed to be used as neurofeedback in a BCI intended for ADHD therapy. The software is formed by 3 realistic 3D video games, in which the speed of the animated character is controlled by the BCI through the theta/beta ratio, an index of the attention level. This value is augmented in people with ADHD. Therefore, the patient will need to concentrate to win the game, which could tend to normalize his/her brain activity. The free cross-platform game engine Unity3D was used for the software development. The communication between the software and the BCI was enabled through the TCP/IP protocol and successfully tested in a technical assessment. This stage involved controlling the software by sending a theta/beta ratio simulated value. An acceptability assessment was conducted by surveying 5 therapists who showed an enthusiastic response. It is concluded that the software could be used as neurofeedback in a BCI for cognitive rehabilitation for ADHD young patients, which could greatly benefit their daily life.