Electroencephalography (EEG) signals are frequently contaminated by ocular, muscle, and cardiac artefacts whose removal normally requires manual inspection or the use of reference channels (EOG, EMG, ECG). We present a novel, fully automatic method for the detection and removal of ECG artefacts that works without a reference ECG channel. Independent Component Analysis (ICA) is applied to the measured data and the independent components are examined for the presence of QRS waveforms using an adaptive threshold-based QRS detection algorithm. Detected peaks are subsequently classified by a rule-based classifier as ECG or non-ECG components. Components manifesting ECG activity are marked for removal, and then the artefact-free signal is reconstructed by removing these components before performing the inverse ICA. The performance of the proposed method is evaluated on a number of EEG datasets and compared to results reported in the literature. The average sensitivity of our ECG artefact removal method is above 99 %, which is better than known literature results.

Publication timeframe:
6 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Control Engineering, Metrology and Testing