What's on your mind? Mental task awareness using single electrode brain computer interfaces

Alireza Sahami Shirazi, Mariam Hassib, Niels Henze, Albrecht Schmidt, Kai Kunze

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

14 Citations (Scopus)


Recognizing and summarizing persons' activities have proven to be effective for increasing self-awareness and enable to improve habits. Reading improves one's language skills and periodic relaxing improves one's health. Recognizing these activities and conveying the time spent would enable to ensure that users read and relax for an adequate time. Most previous attempts in activity recognition deduce mental activities by requiring expensive/bulky hardware or by monitoring behavior from the outside. Not all mental activities can, however, be recognized from the outside. If a person is sleeping, relaxing, or intensively thinks about a problem can hardly be differentiated by observing carried-out reactions. In contrast, we use simple wearable off-the-shelf single electrode brain computer interfaces. These devices have the potential to directly recognize user's mental activities. Through a study with 20 participants, we collect data for five representative activities. We describe the dataset collected and derive potential features. Using a Bayesian classifier we show that reading and relaxing can be recognized with 97% and 79% accuracy. We discuss how sensory tasks associated with different brain lobes can be classified using a single dry electrode BCI.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 5th Augmented Human International Conference, AH 2014
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Print)9781450327619
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event5th Augmented Human International Conference, AH 2014 - Kobe, Japan
Duration: 2014 Mar 72014 Mar 8

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Other5th Augmented Human International Conference, AH 2014


  • BCI
  • EEG
  • General knowledge
  • Reading
  • Wearable computing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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