A review of rapid serial visual presentation-based brain-computer interfaces

Stephanie Lees, Natalie Dayan, Hubert Cecotti, Paul McCullagh, Liam Maguire, Fabien Lotte, D Coyle

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93 Citations (Scopus)
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Rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) combined with the detection of event related brain responses facilitates the selection of relevant information contained in a stream of images presented rapidly to a human. Event related potentials (ERPs) measured non-invasively with electroencephalography (EEG) can be associated with infrequent targets amongst a stream of images. Human-machine symbiosis may be augmented by enabling human interaction with a computer, without overt movement, and/or enable optimization of image/information sorting processes involving humans. Features of the human visual system impact on the success of the RSVP paradigm, but pre-attentive processing supports the identification of target information post presentation of the information by assessing the co-occurrence or time-locked EEG potentials. This paper presents a comprehensive review and evaluation of the limited but significant literature on research in RSVP-based brain-computer interfaces (BCIs). Applications that use RSVP-based BCIs are categorized based on display mode and protocol design, whilst a range of factors influencing ERP evocation and detection are analyzed. Guidelines for using the RSVP-based BCI paradigms are recommended, with a view to further standardizing methods and enhancing the inter-relatability of experimental design to support future research and the use of RSVP-based BCIs in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Neural Engineering
Issue number2
Early online date24 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Apr 2018


  • Rapid Serial Visual Presentation
  • Brain-Computer Interface
  • Event Related Potentials
  • Electroencephalography
  • visual evoked potentials


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