- 1Department of Computer Science and Technology, Tongji University, Shanghai, China
- 2Key Laboratory of Embedded System and Service Computing, Ministry of Education, Shanghai, China
- 3Centre for Neuroscience Studies, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada
- 4Canadian Action and Perception Network, Toronto, ON, Canada
Recent studies show that scalp electroencephalography (EEG) as a non-invasive interface has great potential for brain-computer interfaces (BCIs). However, one factor that has limited practical applications for EEG-based BCI so far is the difficulty to decode brain signals in a reliable and efficient way. This paper proposes a new robust processing framework for decoding of multi-class motor imagery (MI) that is based on five main processing steps. (i) Raw EEG segmentation without the need of visual artifact inspection. (ii) Considering that EEG recordings are often contaminated not just by electrooculography (EOG) but also other types of artifacts, we propose to first implement an automatic artifact correction method that combines regression analysis with independent component analysis for recovering the original source signals. (iii) The significant difference between frequency components based on event-related (de-) synchronization and sample entropy is then used to find non-contiguous discriminating rhythms. After spectral filtering using the discriminating rhythms, a channel selection algorithm is used to select only relevant channels. (iv) Feature vectors are extracted based on the inter-class diversity and time-varying dynamic characteristics of the signals. (v) Finally, a support vector machine is employed for four-class classification. We tested our proposed algorithm on experimental data that was obtained from dataset 2a of BCI competition IV (2008). The overall four-class kappa values (between 0.41 and 0.80) were comparable to other models but without requiring any artifact-contaminated trial removal. The performance showed that multi-class MI tasks can be reliably discriminated using artifact-contaminated EEG recordings from a few channels. This may be a promising avenue for online robust EEG-based BCI applications.