Detecting Error-Related Negativity for Interaction Design

Chi T Vi, Sriram Subramanian

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Paperpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the ability to detect a characteristic brain potential called the Error-Related Negativity (ERN) using off-the-shelf headsets and explores its applicability to HCI. ERN is triggered when a user either makes a mistake or the application behaves differently from their expectation. We first show that ERN can be seen on signals captured by EEG headsets like Emotiv™ when doing a typical multiple choice reaction time (RT) task – Flanker task. We then present a single-trial online ERN algorithm that works by pre-computing the coefficient matrix of a logistic regression classifier using some data from a multiple choice reaction time task and uses it to classify incoming signals of that task on a single trial of data. We apply it to an interactive selection task that involved users selecting an object under time pressure. Furthermore the study was conducted in a typical office environment with ambient noise. Our results show that online single trial ERN detection is possible using off-the-shelf headsets during tasks that are typical of interactive applications. We then design a Superflick experiment with an integrated module mimicking an ERN detector to evaluate the accuracy of detecting ERN in the context of assisting users in interactive tasks. Based on these results we discuss and present several HCI scenarios for use of ERN.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventProceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2012) - Austin, Texas, United States
Duration: 5 May 201210 Feb 2013


ConferenceProceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2012)
CountryUnited States
CityAustin, Texas


  • EEG
  • Brain Computer Interface
  • Error Related Negativity
  • Flick
  • User interface


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  • Detecting Error-Related Negativity for Interaction Design

    Vi, C. T. & Subramanian, S., May 2012, in proceedings of 30th International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2012). p. 493-502 10 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

    Open Access
    41 Citations (Scopus)
    263 Downloads (Pure)

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