MoBI newsletter 11/2016

Dear MoBIs,

The MoBI websites will migrate to a new home and will change layout to become more attractive and to foster more activities on the sites. I hope that everybody involved will contribute to contents and discussions in the future.

We will keep you updated about the changes.



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MoBI members, please send your requests for posting your MoBI-related announcements directly to me ( Once your request is approved, announcements will be consolidated and sent out to our membership list. Please do not email to our distribution list directly. There are more options in your MoBI account to receive updates on news in the different categories. Just activate your subscriptions for the different content types. If you do not wish to receive the bi-monthly newsletter you can deactivate this content type in your account settings.




1) The second mobile Brain/Body Imaging Conference was a great success.


More than 100 engineers, scientists, artists, industry and media representatives came together between from July 24th to July 27th for the 2016 International Conference of Mobile Brain-Body Imaging and the Neuroscience of Art, Innovation and Creativity (“Your Brain on Art” conference) in Cancun, Mexico.

The invitation-only conference encouraged leaders in the science and art fields to collaborate and discuss the future of neuroaesthetics and neurocreativity. In a single track more than 50 presentations and demonstration provided insights into the newest research in MoBI, creativity, and neuroaestethics. The conference allowed ample time for active discussions and exchange at the beautifully located hotel.


You can see videos summarizing the three days of the conference including the evening reception here:

Reception Sunday night:




 The Research Topic “Mobile Brain/Body Imaging and the Neuroscience of Art, Innovation and Creativity” accompanying the conference accepts submissions until December 15th 2016.

The third international Mobile Brain/Body Imaging Conference will be held in Berlin in 2018.


2) Brain Products introduced the mobile Brain/Body Imaging AwardDuring the MoBI conference in Cancun, international experts discussed criteria for the Brain Products Mobile Brain/Body Imaging Award to award researchers working in the field of MoBI. The MoBI Award will be an annual award recognizing excellence in various fields of Mobile Brain/Body Imaging research and will be presented for the first time in Fall 2017. A jury of renowned experts in the field will judge the submitted proposals and select the winners.With excellent prices this award features research in the area of MoBI and supports researchers for innovative research with impressive prizes. Find more information here:


3) Special Issue "Brain in Motion" in Brain Research

The proposed special issue "The Brain in Motion" will focus on the cognitive and psychophysiological aspects of physical activity. How may motor activity have an acute effect on task performance and how do different researchers address the challenge of studying neurophysiological signals while subjects are actually performing a motor task? For a long time neurocognitive studies have been conducted in artificial, highly controlled lab environments while participants were instructed to sit as still as possible. However, it is well known now that physical activity affects cognition. It has been shown that long-term as well as acute physical exercise has an enormous impact on several cognitive functions. These results led to current research on how motor activity affects a variety of processes, such as sensory processing, learning, working memory, attention allocation, arithmetics etc. However, adding psychophysiology to identify the neuronal correlates of this benefit is challenging. All established laboratory methods (fMRI, fNIRS, EEG, MEG) require participants to minimize movement during signal acquisition. With the advent of mobile EEG and mobile fNIRs solutions, investigating brain functions while the brain is in motion is within reach.

This special issue will bring together cognitive research on motor activity and state-of-the-art methods that allow us to study the brain in motion.

Submission deadline will be in March 2017.

We would very much appreciate your contribution. Please let us ( know of your interest at your earliest convenience. 



New Publications related to MoBI


Martin Seeber, Reinhold Scherer and Gernot R. Müller-Putz (2016).EEG Oscillations Are Modulated in Different Behavior-Related Networks during Rhythmic Finger Movements. Journal of Neuroscience 16 November 2016, 36 (46) 11671-11681; DOI:

Sequencing and timing of body movements are essential to perform motoric tasks. In this study, we investigate the temporal relation between cortical oscillations and human motor behavior (i.e., rhythmic finger movements). High-density EEG recordings were used for source imaging based on individual anatomy. We separated sustained and movement phase-related EEG source amplitudes based on the actual finger movements recorded by a data glove. Sustained amplitude modulations in the contralateral hand area show decrease for α (10–12 Hz) and β (18–24 Hz), but increase for high γ (60–80 Hz) frequencies during the entire movement period. Additionally, we found movement phase-related amplitudes, which resembled the flexion and extension sequence of the fingers. Especially for faster movement cadences, movement phase-related amplitudes included high β (24–30 Hz) frequencies in prefrontal areas. Interestingly, the spectral profiles and source patterns of movement phase-related amplitudes differed from sustained activities, suggesting that they represent different frequency-specific large-scale networks. First, networks were signified by the sustained element, which statically modulate their synchrony levels during continuous movements. These networks may upregulate neuronal excitability in brain regions specific to the limb, in this study the right hand area. Second, movement phase-related networks, which modulate their synchrony in relation to the movement sequence. We suggest that these frequency-specific networks are associated with distinct functions, including top-down control, sensorimotor prediction, and integration. The separation of different large-scale networks, we applied in this work, improves the interpretation of EEG sources in relation to human motor behavior.


Izdebski, K., Legkov, P., Ferris, D. P., Oliveira, A. S., Kärcher, S., König, P., ... & Hairston, W. D. Usability of EEG Systems: User Experience Study.

In recent years there was a change in EEG experimental designs - from simple behavior in the lab to complex behavior outside. That change required also an adjustment of EEG systems – from being static and sensitive to mobile and noise-resistant. The rapid technological development has to balance performance (e.g. number of channels, low impedance contact) with usability (e.g. comfort for the participant, contact pressure, wet/dry electrodes) and mobility (e.g. wiring, weight). This has led to wide variety of designs which differ widely in properties. Here we compare 7 EEG systems with respect to the participant’s user experience. Results demonstrate that from perspective of user experience of participants, mobile wet system (Cwet) had the highest score.


Scherer, R., Feitl, S., Schlesinger, M., & Wriessnegger, S. C. (2017). Towards a General-Purpose Mobile Brain-Body Imaging NeuroIS Testbed. In Information Systems and Neuroscience (pp. 133-140). Springer International Publishing.

Navigating (familiar) environments requires spatial memory and spatial orientation. Mobile information systems (IS) have largely taken on this task and have changed human behavior. What impact has the redistribution of problem solving on human skills and knowledge? We are interested in exploring how the use of IS impacts on knowledge/ignorance by means of mobile brain-body imaging. In this paper, we introduce a novel experimental testbed developed to study spatial orientation in the context of geographic maps. Key system features include data synchronization between various devices and data sources, flexibility in designing and modeling research questions and integration of online co-adaptive brain-computer interfacing (BCI) technology. Flexibility, adaptability, scalability and modifiability of the implemented system turn the testbed into a general-purpose tool for studying NeuroIS constructs.


Wagner, J., Makeig, S., Gola, M., Neuper, C., & Müller-Putz, G. (2016). Distinct β Band Oscillatory Networks Subserving Motor and Cognitive Control during Gait Adaptation. The Journal of Neuroscience36(7), 2212-2226.

Abstract. Everyday locomotion and obstacle avoidance requires effective gait adaptation in response to sensory cues. Many studies have shown that efficient motor actions are associated with μ rhythm (8–13 Hz) and β band (13–35 Hz) local field desynchronizations in sensorimotor and parietal cortex, whereas a number of cognitive task studies have reported higher behavioral accuracy to be associated with increases in β band power in prefrontal and sensory cortex. How these two distinct patterns of β band oscillations interplay during gait adaptation, however, has not been established. Here we recorded 108 channel EEG activity from 18 participants (10 males, 22–35 years old) attempting to walk on a treadmill in synchrony with a series of pacing cue tones, and quickly adapting their step rate and length to sudden shifts in pacing cue tempo. Independent component analysis parsed each participant's EEG data into maximally independent component (IC) source processes, which were then grouped across participants into distinct spatial/spectral clusters. Following cue tempo shifts, mean β band power was suppressed for IC sources in central midline and parietal regions, whereas mean β band power increased in IC sources in or near medial prefrontal and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. In the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex IC cluster, the β band power increase was stronger during (more effortful) step shortening than during step lengthening. These results thus show that two distinct patterns of β band activity modulation accompany gait adaptations: one likely serving movement initiation and execution; and the other, motor control and inhibition.


Enders, H., Cortese, F., Maurer, C., Baltich, J., Protzner, A. B., & Nigg, B. M. (2016). Changes in cortical activity measured with EEG during a high-intensity cycling exercise. Journal of neurophysiology115(1), 379-388.

This study investigated the effects of a high-intensity cycling exercise on changes in spectral and temporal aspects of electroencephalography (EEG) measured from 10 experienced cyclists. Cyclists performed a maximum aerobic power test on the first testing day followed by a time-to-exhaustion trial at 85% of their maximum power output on 2 subsequent days that were separated by ∼48 h. EEG was recorded using a 64-channel system at 500 Hz. Independent component (IC) analysis parsed the EEG scalp data into maximal ICs. An equivalent current dipole model was calculated for each IC, and results were clustered across subjects. A time-frequency analysis of the identified electrocortical clusters was performed to investigate the magnitude and timing of event-related spectral perturbations. Significant changes (P < 0.05) in electrocortical activity were found in frontal, supplementary motor and parietal areas of the cortex. Overall, there was a significant increase in EEG power as fatigue developed throughout the exercise. The strongest increase was found in the frontal area of the cortex. The timing of event-related desynchronization within the supplementary motor area corresponds with the onset of force production and the transition from flexion to extension in the pedaling cycle. The results indicate an involvement of the cerebral cortex during the pedaling task that most likely involves executive control function, as well as motor planning and execution.


Bogost, M. D., Burgos, P. I., Little, C. E., Woollacott, M. H., & Dalton, B. H. (2016). Electrocortical sources related to whole-body surface translations during a single-and dual-task paradigm. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience10.

Appropriate reactive motor responses are essential in maintaining upright balance. However, little is known regarding the potential location of cortical sources that are related to the onset of a perturbation during single- and dual-task paradigms. The purpose of this study was to estimate the location of cortical sources in response to a whole-body surface translation and whether diverted attention decreases the N1 event-related potential (ERP) amplitude related to a postural perturbation. This study utilized high-resolution electroencephalography in conjunction with measure projection analysis from ERPs time-locked to backwards surface translation onsets to determine which cortical sources were related to whole-body postural perturbations. Subjects (n = 15) either reacted to whole-body surface translations with (dual task) or without (single task) performing a visual working memory task. For the single task, four domains were identified that were mainly localized within the frontal and parietal lobes and included sources from the prefrontal, premotor, primary and supplementary motor, somatosensory and anterior cingulate cortex. Five domains were estimated for the dual task and also included sources within the frontal and parietal lobes, but the sources also shifted to other locations that included areas within the temporal and occipital lobes. Additionally, mean absolute N1 ERP amplitudes representing the activity from similar locations in both tasks were greater for the single than dual task. The present localization results highlight the importance of frontal, parietal and anterior cingulate cortical areas in reactive postural control and suggest a re-allocation or shift of cortical sources related to reactive balance control in the presence of a secondary task. Thus, this study provides novel insight into the underlying neurophysiology and contribution of cortical sources in relation to the neural control of reactive balance.


Wu, Y. C., Wang, J., Tran, A., Schperberg, A., Caldwell, J., Jung, T. P., & Kuo, P. C. (2016, March). MoBI-Box: A next generation Mobile Brain-Body Imaging Platform. In Cognitive Methods in Situation Awareness and Decision Support (CogSIMA), 2016 IEEE International Multi-Disciplinary Conference on (pp. 93-96). IEEE.

MoBI-Box is an inexpensive, portable, and ergonomic desktop system for simultaneously measuring and integrating multiple types of biosignals that transpire at different time scales and levels of organization. It can be assembled from readily available, off-the-shelf components and customized to suit specific needs. It can be implemented in a wide range of settings, including homes, classrooms, clinics, and research labs for only a modest start-up cost (beginning around $1200). MoBI-Box systems are currently in use for a number of training and research applications. This paper will outline an ongoing project to explore the impact of motor imagery on learning of a complex skill with both motoric and conceptual elements - namely, learning Mandarin orthography. Findings have implications for the development of training systems in other specialized domains that require not only kinesthetic expertise, but also specialized knowledge.


Youssofzadeh, V., Zanotto, D., Wong-Lin, K., Agrawal, S., & Prasad, G. (2016). Directed Functional Connectivity in Fronto-Centroparietal Circuit Correlates with Motor Adaptation in Gait Training.

Lower-extremity robotic exoskeletons are used in gait rehabilitation to achieve functional motor recovery. To date, little is known about how gait training and post-training are characterized in brain signals and their causal connectivity. In this work, we used time-domain partial Granger causality (PGC) analysis to elucidate the directed functional connectivity of electroencephalogram (EEG) signals of healthy adults in robotassisted gait training (RAGT). Our results confirm the presence of EEG rhythms and corticomuscular relationships during standing and walking using spectral and coherence analyses. The PGC analysis revealed enhanced connectivity close to sensorimotor areas (C3 and CP4) during standing, whereas additional connectivities involve the centroparietal (CPz) and frontal (Fz) areas during walking with respect to standing. In addition, significant fronto-centroparietal causal effects were found during both training and post-training. Strong correlations were also found between kinematic errors and fronto-centroparietal connectivity during training and post-training. This study suggests frontocentroparietal connectivity as a potential neuromarker for motor learning and adaptation in RAGT.



Yu, Y. H., Chen, S. H., Chang, C. L., Lin, C. T., Hairston, W. D., & Mrozek, R. A. (2016). New Flexible Silicone-Based EEG Dry Sensor Material Compositions Exhibiting Improvements in Lifespan, Conductivity, and Reliability. Sensors16(11), 1826.

Abstract.This study investigates alternative material compositions for flexible silicone-based dry electroencephalography (EEG) electrodes to improve the performance lifespan while maintaining high-fidelity transmission of EEG signals. Electrode materials were fabricated with varying concentrations of silver-coated silica and silver flakes to evaluate their electrical, mechanical, and EEG transmission performance. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) analysis of the initial electrode development identified some weak points in the sensors’ construction, including particle pull-out and ablation of the silver coating on the silica filler. The newly-developed sensor materials achieved significant improvement in EEG measurements while maintaining the advantages of previous silicone-based electrodes, including flexibility and non-toxicity. The experimental results indicated that the proposed electrodes maintained suitable performance even after exposure to temperature fluctuations, 85% relative humidity, and enhanced corrosion conditions demonstrating improvements in the environmental stability. Fabricated flat (forehead) and acicular (hairy sites) electrodes composed of the optimum identified formulation exhibited low impedance and reliable EEG measurement; some initial human experiments demonstrate the feasibility of using these silicone-based electrodes for typical lab data collection applications. 


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