Action observation (AO), based on the mirror neuron theory, is a promising strategy to promote motor cortical activation in neurorehabilitation. Brain computer interface (BCI) can detect a user’s intention and provide them with brain state-dependent feedback to assist with patient rehabilitation. We investigated the effects of a combined BCI-AO game on power of mu band attenuation in stroke patients. Nineteen patients with subacute stroke were recruited. A BCI-AO game provided real-time feedback to participants regarding their attention to a flickering action video using steady-state visual-evoked potentials. All participants watched a video of repetitive grasping actions under two conditions: (1) BCI-AO game and (2) conventional AO, in random order. In the BCI-AO game, feedback on participants’ observation scores and observation time was provided. In conventional AO, a non-flickering video and no feedback were provided. The magnitude of mu suppression in the central motor, temporal, parietal, and occipital areas was significantly higher in the BCI-AO game than in the conventional AO. The magnitude of mu suppression was significantly higher in the BCI-AO game than in the conventional AO both in the affected and unaffected hemispheres. These results support the facilitatory effects of the BCI-AO game on mu suppression over conventional AO.
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