Audio representations of multi-channel EEG: A new tool for diagnosis of brain disorders

François B. Vialatte, Justin Dauwels, Toshimitsu Musha, Andrzej Cichocki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The objective of this paper is to develop audio representations of electroencephalographic (EEG) multichannel signals, useful for medical practitioners and neuroscientists. The fundamental question explored in this paper is whether clinically valuable information contained in the EEG, not available from the conventional graphical EEG representation, might become apparent through audio representations. Methods and Materials: Music scores are generated from sparse time-frequency maps of EEG signals. Specifically, EEG signals of patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and (healthy) control subjects are considered. Statistical differences in the audio representations of MCI patients and control subjects are assessed through mathematical complexity indexes as well as a perception test; in the latter, participants try to distinguish between audio sequences from MCI patients and control subjects. Results: Several characteristics of the audio sequences, including sample entropy, number of notes, and synchrony, are significantly different in MCI patients and control subjects (Mann-Whitney p < 0.01). Moreover, the participants of the perception test were able to accurately classify the audio sequences (89% correctly classified). Conclusions: The proposed audio representation of multi-channel EEG signals helps to understand the complex structure of EEG. Promising results were obtained on a clinical EEG data set.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-304
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Neurodegenerative Diseases
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Bump modeling
  • EEG
  • Multichannel-EEG sonification
  • Time-frequency transform


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