An introduction to online fNIRS signal processing and control in experiments using a virtual reality environment

Paweł Augustynowicz, Dariusz Zapała, Cortivision

Duration: 180 min

Capacity: 90

Level: Introductory

Data Analysis Toolbox

Requirements: none

Synopsis: An improvement in ecological validity is one of the major challenges for 21st-century neuroscience. At the same time, the study of neurocognitive processes in real-life situations requires good control of all variables relevant to the results. One possible solution that combines the capability of creating realistic experimental scenarios with adequate control of the test environment is virtual reality. Our goal was to develop an integrative research ecosystem involving a CW-fNIRS and head-mounted-display (HMD) technology dedicated to offline and online cognitive experiments. This mini-course aims to present how to use these methods to create custom BCI experiments in an immersive VR environment. We will demonstrate step-by-step how to set up your first fNIRS-based VR-BCI experiment using the Cortivision Photon Cap system and integrated tools from third-party developers (e.g. WordViz; OpenViBE, Unity). We will pay special attention to practical aspects of integrating fNIRS with HMD, such as ergonomics and comfort during signal acquisition. 1. Introduction to the use of fNIRS in brain-computer communication. 2. Overview of the tools for creating experiments in the virtual reality environment. 3. A demonstration of the VR-ready Coritivision ecosystem.

Learning objectives:

  • Understanding the challenges of fNIRS measurement during the use of Head-mounted-displays (HMDs).
  • Understanding the challenges of fNIRS measurement of subjects in motion.
  • Learning to operate the fNIRS Cortivision Photon CAP mobile ecosystem and CoreView software.
  • Exploring of LSL protocol capabilities for signal streaming in BCI online experiments.
  • Getting to know how to create real-time fNIRS signal processing pipelines in the OpenViBE environment.
  • Learning how to create your own VR scenes using WorldViz or Unity environments.

Requirements: None