This study’s goal is to develop a low cost, portable, accurate and comfortable NIRS module that can be used simultaneously with EEG in a dual modality system for brain computer interface (BCI). The sensing modules consist of electroencephalography (EEG) electrodes (at the positions Fp1, Fpz and Fp2 in the international 10-20 system) with eight custom made functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) channels, positioned on the prefrontal cortex area with two extra channels to measure and eliminate extra-cranial oxygenation. The NIRS sensors were designed to guarantee good sensor-skin contact, without causing subject discomfort, using springs to press them to the skin instead of pressing them by cap fixture. Two open source software packages were modified to carry out dual modality hybrid BCI experiments. The experimental paradigm consisted of a mental task (arithmetic task or text reading) and a resting period. Both oxygenated hemoglobin concentration changes (HbO), and EEG signals showed an increase during the mental task, but the onset, period and amount of that increase depends on each modality’s characteristics. The subject’s degree of attention played an important role especially during online sessions. The sensors can be easily used to acquire brain signals from different cerebral cortex parts. The system serves as a simple technological test bed and will be used for stroke patient rehabilitation purposes.
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