In 2018 26th European Signal Processing Conference (EUSIPCO), pages 101-105, Sep., 2018. Paper doi abstract bibtex
Scalp electrical recordings, or electroencephalograms (EEG), are heavily contaminated by cranial and cervical muscle activity from as low as 20 hertz, even in relaxed conditions. It is therefore necessary to reduce or remove this contamination to enable reliable exploration of brain neurophysiological responses. Scalp measurements record activity from many sources, including neural and muscular. Independent Component Analysis (ICA) produces components ideally corresponding to separate sources, but the number of components is limited by the number of EEG channels. In practice, at most 30% of components are cleanly separate sources. Increasing the number of channels results in more separate components, but with a significant increase in costs of data collection and computation. Here we present results to assist in selecting an appropriate number of channels. Our unique database of pharmacologically paralysed subjects provides a way to objectively compare different approaches to achieving an ideal, muscle free EEG recording. We evaluated an automatic muscle-removing approach, based on ICA, with different numbers of EEG channels: 21, 32, 64, and 115. Our results show that, for a fixed length of data, 21 channels is insufficient to reduce tonic muscle artefact, and that increasing the number of channels to 115 does result in better tonic muscle artefact reduction.