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ICA-based reduction of electromyogenic artifacts in EEG data: comparison with and without EMG data.

  • Gabsteiger, Florian
  • Leutheuser, Heike
  • Reis, Pedro
  • Lochmann, Matthias
  • Eskofier, Bjoern M
Published Article
Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2014
DOI: 10.1109/EMBC.2014.6944466
PMID: 25570834


Analysis of electroencephalography (EEG) recorded during movement is often aggravated or even completely hindered by electromyogenic artifacts. This is caused by the overlapping frequencies of brain and myogenic activity and the higher amplitude of the myogenic signals. One commonly employed computational technique to reduce these types of artifacts is Independent Component Analysis (ICA). ICA estimates statistically independent components (ICs) that, when linearly combined, closely match the input (sensor) data. Removing the ICs that represent artifact sources and re-mixing the sources returns the input data with reduced noise activity. ICs of real-world data are usually not perfectly separated, actual sources, but a mixture of these sources. Adding additional input signals, predominantly generated by a single IC that is already part of the original sensor data, should increase that IC's separability. We conducted this study to evaluate this concept for ICA-based electromyogenic artifact reduction in EEG using EMG signals as additional inputs. To acquire the appropriate data we worked with nine human volunteers. The EEG and EMG were recorded while the study volunteers performed seven exercises designed to produce a wide range of representative myogenic artifacts. To evaluate the effect of the EMG signals we estimated the sources of each dataset once with and once without the EMG data. The ICs were automatically classified as either `myogenic' or `non-myogenic'. We removed the former before back projection. Afterwards we calculated an objective measure to quantify the artifact reduction and assess the effect of including EMG signals. Our study showed that the ICA-based reduction of electromyogenic artifacts can be improved by including the EMG data of artifact-inducing muscles. This approach could prove beneficial for locomotor disorder research, brain-computer interfaces, neurofeedback, and most other areas where brain activity during movement has to be analyzed.

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