Learning Common Time-Frequency-Spatial Patterns for Motor Imagery Classification

Yangyang Miao, Jing Jin, Ian Daly, Cili Zuo, Xingyu Wang, Andrzej Cichocki, Tzyy Ping Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


The common spatial patterns (CSP) algorithm is the most popular spatial filtering method applied to extract electroencephalogram (EEG) features for motor imagery (MI) based brain-computer interface (BCI) systems. The effectiveness of the CSP algorithm depends on optimal selection of the frequency band and time window from the EEG. Many algorithms have been designed to optimize frequency band selection for CSP, while few algorithms seek to optimize the time window. This study proposes a novel framework, termed common time-frequency-spatial patterns (CTFSP), to extract sparse CSP features from multi-band filtered EEG data in multiple time windows. Specifically, the whole MI period is first segmented into multiple subseries using a sliding time window approach. Then, sparse CSP features are extracted from multiple frequency bands in each time window. Finally, multiple support vector machine (SVM) classifiers with the Radial Basis Function (RBF) kernel are trained to identify the MI tasks and the voting result of these classifiers determines the final output of the BCI. This study applies the proposed CTFSP algorithm to three public EEG datasets (BCI competition III dataset IVa, BCI competition III dataset IIIa, and BCI competition IV dataset 1) to validate its effectiveness, compared against several other state-of-the-art methods. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed algorithm is a promising candidate for improving the performance of MI-BCI systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9395474
Pages (from-to)699-707
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • brain-computer interface (BCI)
  • Common spatial patterns (CSP)
  • electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • motor imagery (MI)


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