Temporally constrained sparse group spatial patterns for motor imagery BCI

Yu Zhang, Chang S. Nam, Guoxu Zhou, Jing Jin, Xingyu Wang, Andrzej Cichocki

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    139 Citations (Scopus)


    Common spatial pattern (CSP)-based spatial filtering has been most popularly applied to electroencephalogram (EEG) feature extraction for motor imagery (MI) classification in brain-computer interface (BCI) application. The effectiveness of CSP is highly affected by the frequency band and time window of EEG segments. Although numerous algorithms have been designed to optimize the spectral bands of CSP, most of them selected the time window in a heuristic way. This is likely to result in a suboptimal feature extraction since the time period when the brain responses to the mental tasks occurs may not be accurately detected. In this paper, we propose a novel algorithm, namely temporally constrained sparse group spatial pattern (TSGSP), for the simultaneous optimization of filter bands and time window within CSP to further boost classification accuracy of MI EEG. Specifically, spectrum-specific signals are first derived by bandpass filtering from raw EEG data at a set of overlapping filter bands. Each of the spectrum-specific signals is further segmented into multiple subseries using sliding window approach. We then devise a joint sparse optimization of filter bands and time windows with temporal smoothness constraint to extract robust CSP features under a multitask learning framework. A linear support vector machine classifier is trained on the optimized EEG features to accurately identify the MI tasks. An experimental study is implemented on three public EEG datasets (BCI Competition III dataset IIIa, BCI Competition IV datasets IIa, and BCI Competition IV dataset IIb) to validate the effectiveness of TSGSP in comparison to several other competing methods. Superior classification performance (averaged accuracies are 88.5%, 83.3%, and 84.3% for the three datasets, respectively) based on the experimental results confirms that the proposed algorithm is a promising candidate for performance improvement of MI-based BCIs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number8386437
    Pages (from-to)3322-3332
    Number of pages11
    JournalIEEE Transactions on Cybernetics
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019


    • Brain-computer interface (BCI)
    • electroencephalogram (EEG)
    • motor imagery (MI)
    • sparse group spatial pattern
    • temporal constraint


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