Removal of BCG artifacts using a non-Kirchhoffian overcomplete representation

We present a nonlinear unmixing approach for extracting the ballistocardiogram (BCG) from EEG recorded in an MR scanner during simultaneous acquisition of functional MRI (fMRI). First, an overcomplete basis is identified in the EEG based on a custom multipath EEG electrode cap. Next, the overcomplete basis is used to infer non-Kirchhoffian latent variables that are not consistent with a conservative electric field. Neural activity is strictly Kirchhoffian while the BCG artifact is not, and the representation can hence be used to remove the artifacts from the data in a way that does not attenuate the neural signals needed for optimal single-trial classification performance. We compare our method to more standard methods for BCG removal, namely independent component analysis and optimal basis sets, by looking at single-trial classification performance for an auditory oddball experiment. We show that our overcomplete representation method for removing BCG artifacts results in better single-trial classification performance compared to the conventional approaches, indicating that the derived neural activity in this representation retains the complex information in the trial-to-trial variability.

Accepted 25 March 2009
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