The Mind-Writing Pupil: A Human-Computer Interface Based on Decoding of Covert Attention through Pupillometry.

PLoS ONE. 2016;11(2):e0148805 DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0148805

 

Journal Homepage

Journal Title: PLoS ONE

ISSN: 1932-6203 (Online)

Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)

LCC Subject Category: Medicine | Science

Country of publisher: United States

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, XML

 

AUTHORS

Sebastiaan Mathôt
Jean-Baptiste Melmi
Lotje van der Linden
Stefan Van der Stigchel

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

Peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 24 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

We present a new human-computer interface that is based on decoding of attention through pupillometry. Our method builds on the recent finding that covert visual attention affects the pupillary light response: Your pupil constricts when you covertly (without looking at it) attend to a bright, compared to a dark, stimulus. In our method, participants covertly attend to one of several letters with oscillating brightness. Pupil size reflects the brightness of the selected letter, which allows us-with high accuracy and in real time-to determine which letter the participant intends to select. The performance of our method is comparable to the best covert-attention brain-computer interfaces to date, and has several advantages: no movement other than pupil-size change is required; no physical contact is required (i.e. no electrodes); it is easy to use; and it is reliable. Potential applications include: communication with totally locked-in patients, training of sustained attention, and ultra-secure password input.