Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical & Computer Engineering


Biomedical Engineering

Committee Director

Dean J. Krusienski

Committee Member

Jiang Li

Committee Member

Tamer Nadeem

Committee Member

Alan Pope

Committee Member

Christian Zemlin


There are many different neuromuscular disorders that disrupt the normal communication pathways between the brain and the rest of the body. These diseases often leave patients in a `locked-in" state, rendering them unable to communicate with their environment despite having cognitively normal brain function. Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are augmentative communication devices that establish a direct link between the brain and a computer. Visual evoked potential (VEP)- based BCIs, which are dependent upon the use of salient visual stimuli, are amongst the fastest BCIs available and provide the highest communication rates compared to other BCI modalities. However. the majority of research focuses solely on improving the raw BCI performance; thus, most visual BCIs still suffer from a myriad of practical issues that make them impractical for everyday use. The focus of this dissertation is on the development of novel advancements and solutions that increase the practicality of VEP-based BCIs. The presented work shows the results of several studies that relate to characterizing and optimizing visual stimuli. improving ergonomic design. reducing visual irritation, and implementing a practical VEP-based BCI using an extensible software framework and mobile devices platforms.


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