Listen, you are writing! : Speeding up online spelling with a dynamic auditory BCI
Representing an intuitive spelling interface for brain–computer interfaces (BCI) in the auditory domain is not straight-forward. In consequence, all existing approaches based on event-related potentials (ERP) rely at least partially on a visual representation of the interface. This online study introduces an auditory spelling interface that eliminates the necessity for such a visualization. In up to two sessions, a group of healthy subjects (N = 21) was asked to use a text entry application, utilizing the spatial cues of the AMUSE paradigm (Auditory Multi-class Spatial ERP). The speller relies on the auditory sense both for stimulation and the core feedback. Without prior BCI experience, 76% of the participants were able to write a full sentence during the first session. By exploiting the advantages of a newly introduced dynamic stopping method, a maximum writing speed of 1.41 char/min (7.55 bits/min) could be reached during the second session (average: 0.94 char/min, 5.26 bits/min). For the first time, the presented work shows that an auditory BCI can reach performances similar to state-of-the-art visual BCIs based on covert attention. These results represent an important step toward a purely auditory BCI.