EEG Classification of Different Imaginary Movements within the Same Limb

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
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Final version published as: 

Yong X, Menon C (2015) EEG Classification of Different Imaginary Movements within the Same Limb. PLoS ONE 10(4): e0121896. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0121896

Date created: 
Signal filtering
Man-computer interface
Motor cortex
Bandpass filters

The task of discriminating the motor imagery of different movements within the same limb using electroencephalography (EEG) signals is challenging because these imaginary movements have close spatial representations on the motor cortex area. There is, however, a pressing need to succeed in this task. The reason is that the ability to classify different same-limb imaginary movements could increase the number of control dimensions of a brain-computer interface (BCI). In this paper, we propose a 3-class BCI system that discriminates EEG signals corresponding to rest, imaginary grasp movements, and imaginary elbow movements. Besides, the differences between simple motor imagery and goal-oriented motor imagery in terms of their topographical distributions and classification accuracies are also being investigated. To the best of our knowledge, both problems have not been explored in the literature. Based on the EEG data recorded from 12 able-bodied individuals, we have demonstrated that same-limb motor imagery classification is possible. For the binary classification of imaginary grasp and elbow (goal-oriented) movements, the average accuracy achieved is 66.9%. For the 3-class problem of discriminating rest against imaginary grasp and elbow movements, the average classification accuracy achieved is 60.7%, which is greater than the random classification accuracy of 33.3%. Our results also show that goal-oriented imaginary elbow movements lead to a better classification performance compared to simple imaginary elbow movements. This proposed BCI system could potentially be used in controlling a robotic rehabilitation system, which can assist stroke patients in performing task-specific exercises.

Document type: 
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR)