A Causal Perspective on Brainwave Modeling for Brain-Computer Interfaces

Published in Journal of Neural Engineering (JNE), 2024

Authors: Konstantinos Barmpas, Yannis Panagakis, Georgios Zoumpourlis, Dimitrios Adamos, Nikolaos Laskaris, Stefanos Zafeiriou

Machine learning models have opened up enormous opportunities in the field of Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs). Despite their great success, they usually face severe limitations when they are employed in real-life applications outside a controlled laboratory setting. Mixing causal reasoning, identifying causal relationships between variables of interest, with brainwave modeling can change one’s viewpoint on some of these major challenges which can be found in various stages in the machine learning pipeline, ranging from data collection and data pre-processing to training methods and techniques. In this work, we employ causal reasoning and present a framework aiming to breakdown and analyze important challenges of brainwave modeling for BCIs. Furthermore, we present how general machine learning practices as well as brainwave-specific techniques can be utilized and solve some of these identified challenges. And finally, we discuss appropriate evaluation schemes in order to measure these techniques’ performance and efficiently compare them with other methods that will be developed in the future.