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Probing of Brain States in Real-Time: Introducing the ConSole Environment.

Hartmann T, Schulz H, Weisz N - Front Psychol (2011)

Bottom Line: However such offline analyses are disadvantageous as they are correlational by drawing conclusions in a post hoc-manner and stimulus presentation is random with respect to the feature of interest.The software is also independent from the EEG/MEG system, as long as a driver can be written (currently two EEG systems are supported).Besides a general introduction, we present benchmark data regarding performance and validity of the calculations used, as well as three example applications of ConSole in different settings.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Universität Konstanz Konstanz, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Recent years have seen huge advancements in the methods available and used in neuroscience employing EEG or MEG. However, the standard approach is to average a large number of trials for experimentally defined conditions in order to reduce intertrial-variability, i.e., treating it as a source of "noise." Yet it is now more and more accepted that trial-to-trial fluctuations bear functional significance, reflecting fluctuations of "brain states" that predispose perception and action. Such effects are often revealed in a pre-stimulus period, when comparing response variability to an invariant stimulus. However such offline analyses are disadvantageous as they are correlational by drawing conclusions in a post hoc-manner and stimulus presentation is random with respect to the feature of interest. A more direct test is to trigger stimulus presentation when the relevant feature is present. The current paper introduces Constance System for Online EEG (ConSole), a software package capable of analyzing ongoing EEG/MEG in real-time and presenting auditory and visual stimuli via internal routines. Stimulation via external devices (e.g., transcranial magnetic stimulation) or third-party software (e.g., PsyScope X) is possible by sending TTL-triggers. With ConSole it is thus possible to target the stimulation at specific brain states. In contrast to many available applications, ConSole is open-source. Its modular design enhances the power of the software as it can be easily adapted to new challenges and writing new experiments is an easy task. ConSole is already pre-equipped with modules performing standard signal processing steps. The software is also independent from the EEG/MEG system, as long as a driver can be written (currently two EEG systems are supported). Besides a general introduction, we present benchmark data regarding performance and validity of the calculations used, as well as three example applications of ConSole in different settings. ConSole can be downloaded at: http://console-kn.sf.net.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Coarse overview over the structure of ConSole. The general purpose modules implemented in C++ are used in conjunction with the actual real-time paradigm. Both are joined by the framework that ConSole provides. ConSole then displays all necessary information on a computer screen via its GUI.
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
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Figure 2: Coarse overview over the structure of ConSole. The general purpose modules implemented in C++ are used in conjunction with the actual real-time paradigm. Both are joined by the framework that ConSole provides. ConSole then displays all necessary information on a computer screen via its GUI.

Mentions: Constance System for Online EEG was designed with two main goals: ease of use and flexibility. As a monolithic architecture is unable to provide the flexibility needed for such an application, we decided to adopt a modular approach, dividing the application into three distinctive parts: the GUI, the framework, providing internal management functions, and the actual signal processing routines. While the first two parts are included in the main application, the signal processing (as well as drivers for amplifiers, data visualization, etc.) is implemented using totally independent modules – so-called plug-ins. These plug-ins are developed independent of ConSole, which only provides the framework and basic algorithms. This approach eases the development of new modules, as it is only necessary to understand the plug-in interface and not the whole structure of ConSole. The actual experiment is written in an XML-dialect, describing the modules used and the connections between these. This further abstraction from the internal structure of ConSole hides irrelevant details from the designer of the experiment, thus making it possible to design a paradigm without programming skills. For an overview of the structure of an experiment designed using ConSole, see Figure 2.


Probing of Brain States in Real-Time: Introducing the ConSole Environment.

Hartmann T, Schulz H, Weisz N - Front Psychol (2011)

Coarse overview over the structure of ConSole. The general purpose modules implemented in C++ are used in conjunction with the actual real-time paradigm. Both are joined by the framework that ConSole provides. ConSole then displays all necessary information on a computer screen via its GUI.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3110935&req=5

Figure 2: Coarse overview over the structure of ConSole. The general purpose modules implemented in C++ are used in conjunction with the actual real-time paradigm. Both are joined by the framework that ConSole provides. ConSole then displays all necessary information on a computer screen via its GUI.
Mentions: Constance System for Online EEG was designed with two main goals: ease of use and flexibility. As a monolithic architecture is unable to provide the flexibility needed for such an application, we decided to adopt a modular approach, dividing the application into three distinctive parts: the GUI, the framework, providing internal management functions, and the actual signal processing routines. While the first two parts are included in the main application, the signal processing (as well as drivers for amplifiers, data visualization, etc.) is implemented using totally independent modules – so-called plug-ins. These plug-ins are developed independent of ConSole, which only provides the framework and basic algorithms. This approach eases the development of new modules, as it is only necessary to understand the plug-in interface and not the whole structure of ConSole. The actual experiment is written in an XML-dialect, describing the modules used and the connections between these. This further abstraction from the internal structure of ConSole hides irrelevant details from the designer of the experiment, thus making it possible to design a paradigm without programming skills. For an overview of the structure of an experiment designed using ConSole, see Figure 2.

Bottom Line: However such offline analyses are disadvantageous as they are correlational by drawing conclusions in a post hoc-manner and stimulus presentation is random with respect to the feature of interest.The software is also independent from the EEG/MEG system, as long as a driver can be written (currently two EEG systems are supported).Besides a general introduction, we present benchmark data regarding performance and validity of the calculations used, as well as three example applications of ConSole in different settings.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Universität Konstanz Konstanz, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Recent years have seen huge advancements in the methods available and used in neuroscience employing EEG or MEG. However, the standard approach is to average a large number of trials for experimentally defined conditions in order to reduce intertrial-variability, i.e., treating it as a source of "noise." Yet it is now more and more accepted that trial-to-trial fluctuations bear functional significance, reflecting fluctuations of "brain states" that predispose perception and action. Such effects are often revealed in a pre-stimulus period, when comparing response variability to an invariant stimulus. However such offline analyses are disadvantageous as they are correlational by drawing conclusions in a post hoc-manner and stimulus presentation is random with respect to the feature of interest. A more direct test is to trigger stimulus presentation when the relevant feature is present. The current paper introduces Constance System for Online EEG (ConSole), a software package capable of analyzing ongoing EEG/MEG in real-time and presenting auditory and visual stimuli via internal routines. Stimulation via external devices (e.g., transcranial magnetic stimulation) or third-party software (e.g., PsyScope X) is possible by sending TTL-triggers. With ConSole it is thus possible to target the stimulation at specific brain states. In contrast to many available applications, ConSole is open-source. Its modular design enhances the power of the software as it can be easily adapted to new challenges and writing new experiments is an easy task. ConSole is already pre-equipped with modules performing standard signal processing steps. The software is also independent from the EEG/MEG system, as long as a driver can be written (currently two EEG systems are supported). Besides a general introduction, we present benchmark data regarding performance and validity of the calculations used, as well as three example applications of ConSole in different settings. ConSole can be downloaded at: http://console-kn.sf.net.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus