Mario Quiles Perez, Enrique Tomas Martinez Beltran, Sergio Lopez Bernal, Alberto Huertas Celdran, Gregorio Martinez Perez
Journal of Healthcare Engineering, Volume 22, Issue 2, August 2021, Pages 191-194
Publication year: 2021


Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) started being used in clinical scenarios, reaching nowadays new fields such as entertainment or learning. Using BCIs, neuronal activity can be monitored for various purposes, with the study of the central nervous system response to certain stimuli being one of them, being the case of evoked potentials. However, due to the sensitivity of these data, the transmissions must be protected, with blockchain being an interesting approach to ensure the integrity of the data. This work focuses on the visual sense, and its relationship with the P300 evoked potential, where several open challenges related to the privacy of subjects’ information and thoughts appear when using BCI. The first and most important challenge is whether it would be possible to extract sensitive information from evoked potentials. This aspect becomes even more challenging and dangerous if the stimuli are generated when the subject is not aware or conscious that they have occurred. There is an important gap in this regard in the literature, with only one work existing dealing with subliminal stimuli and BCI and having an unclear methodology and experiment setup. As a contribution of this paper, a series of experiments, five in total, have been created to study the impact of visual stimuli on the brain tangibly. These experiments have been applied to a heterogeneous group of ten subjects. The experiments show familiar visual stimuli and gradually reduce the sampling time of known images, from supraliminal to subliminal. The study showed that supraliminal visual stimuli produced P300 potentials about 50% of the time on average across all subjects. Reducing the sample time between images degraded the attack, while the impact of subliminal stimuli was not confirmed. Additionally, younger subjects generally presented a shorter response latency. This work corroborates that subjects’ sensitive data can be extracted using visual stimuli and P300.

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