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9, September 2008 87

Ocular Artifacts in EEG Signals

P. Senthil Kumar 1, R. Arumuganathan 1, K. Sivakumar 2 , C. Vimal 3

1

Dept. of Mathematics & Computer Applications, 2 Dept. of Electronics and Communication Engg.,

3

Dept. of Bio-Medical Engineering

PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, India.

This paper presents a new empirical method for de-noising of of artifact removal require a tedious visual classification of

ocular artifacts in the electroencephalogram (EEG) records. In the components. P. LeVan [1] proposed a method which

many biomedical signal processing approach, source signals are automates this process and removes simultaneously

noisy and some have kurtosis close to zero. These noise sources multiple types of artifacts. R.J. Croft [2] reviews a

increase the difficulty in analyzing the EEG and obtaining the

clinical information. To remove this artifacts a method based

number of methods of dealing with ocular artifact in the

on Donoho’s de-noising method is used. Recently Stationary EEG, focusing on the relative merits of a variety of EOG

Wavelet Transform (SWT) has been used to de-noise the correction procedures. In EEG data sets, there may be

corrupted EEG signals. In this paper, statistical empirical some specific components or events that may help the

method for removing ocular artifacts from EEG recordings clinicians in diagnosis. They may tend to be transient

through SWT is suggested. (localized in time), prominent over certain scalp regions

(localized in space) and restricted to certain ranges of

Key words: temporal and spatial frequencies (localized in scale).

EEG, de-noising, ocular artifacts, stationary wavelet transform

There has been a tremendous amount of activity and

interest in the applications of wavelet analysis to signals,

in particular methods of wavelet thresholding and

1. Introduction shrinkage [8,13] for the removal of additive noise from

The statistical analysis of electrical recordings of the brain corrupted biomedical signals and images. Wavelet

activity by an Electroencephalogram is a major problem in analysis provides flexible control over the resolution with

Neuroscience. Cerebral signals have several origins that which neuro-electric components and events are localized

lead to the complexity of their identification. Therefore, in time, space and scale. V.J. Samar [4] describes the

the noise removal is of the prime necessity to make easier basic concepts of wavelet analysis and other applications.

data interpretation and representation and to recover the V. Krishnaveni [9,10] discussed a method to automatically

signal that matches perfectly a brain functioning. A identify slow varying ocular artifact zones and applying

common problem faced during the clinical recording of the wavelet based adaptive thresholding algorithm only to the

EEG signal, are the eye-blinks and movement of the eye identified ocular artifact zones, which avoids the removal

balls that produce ocular artifacts. It has been known for of background EEG information. The fundamental

quite some time now that the Alpha rhythm of the EEG, motivation behind these approaches is that the statistics of

which is the principal resting rhythm of the brain in adults many real world signals, when wavelet transformed are

while they are awake, is directly influenced by visual substantially simplified.

stimuli. Auditory and mental arithmetic tasks with the

eyes closed lead to strong alpha waves, which are Wavelet transforms are used to analyze time varying,

suppressed when the eyes are opened. This property of non-stationary signals, and EEG fall into these category of

the EEG has been used, ineffectively, for a long period of signals. The ability of wavelet transform is to accurately

time to detect eye blinks and movements. The slow resolve EEG into specific time and frequency components

response of thresholding, failure to detect fast eye blinks lead to several analysis applications and one among them

and the lack of an effective de-noising technique forced is de-noising. The wavelet transform of the noisy signal

researchers to study the frequency characteristics of the generates the wavelet coefficients which denote the

EEG as well. correlation coefficients between the noisy EEG and the

wavelet function. Depending on the choice of mother

Manuscript revised September 20, 2008.

88 IJCSNS International Journal of Computer Science and Network Security, VOL.8 No.9, September 2008

wavelet function, larger coefficients will be generated property. Instead of sub sampling, the SWT utilizes

corresponding to the noise affected zones. The larger recursively dilated filters in order to halve the bandwidth

coefficients will be an estimate of noise from level to another.

Tatjana Zikov [12] proposed a wavelet based de-noising

of the EEG signal to correct for the presence of the ocular This decomposition scheme is shown in the figure 1.

artifact. In this paper, we proposed a simple statistical

empirical de-noising formula for removing artifacts in the

EEG signals without using any reference signals. This c j −1 …

formula very much reduces the complexity and time factor. h0 (n)

h0 (n) cj

2. Wavelets for analyzing EEG signals c j +1

h1 (n) d j −1

In statistical settings we are more usually concerned with

discretely sampled, rather than continuous functions. It is

then the wavelet analogy to the Discrete Wavelet h1 (n) dj

Transform ( DWT) which is of primary interest . Wavelet

transform [6] has emerged as one of the superior technique

in analyzing non-stationary signals like EEG [3,7]. Its Fig. 1 Wavelet Decomposition Scheme

capability in transforming a time domain signal into time

and frequency localization helps to understand more the 3. A Simple De-Noising Technique

behavior of a signal.

Suppose one has to measure a signal on which an external

The DWT means choosing subsets of the scales ‘a’ and noise is superimposed. We call this EEG signal the true

positions ‘b’ of the mother wavelet ψ (t ) . signal S(t) and the external noise ε (t ) , so that the

a measured signal can be written in the form

Ψ( a ,b ) (t ) = 2 2 ψ ( 2 a t − b) (1)

x(t) = S(t) + ε (t ) (2)

Choosing scales and positions are based on powers of two,

which are called dyadic scales and positions { a j = 2 –j ; The only assumptions needed are that S(t) and ε (t ) are

bj,k = 2 –j k } ( j and k are integers ) . Equation (1) shows

uncorrelated and are stationary processes, and can be

that it is possible to build a wavelet for any function by

written as equation (2). Thresholding is a technique used

dilating a function ψ (t ) with a coefficient 2 j, and for signal and image de-noising. When we decompose a

translating the resulting function on a grid whose interval signal using the wavelet transform, we are left with a set of

is proportional to 2 –j . Contracted (compressed) versions wavelet coefficients that correlates to the high frequency

of the wavelet function match the high-frequency subbands. These high frequency subbands consist of the

components, while dilated (stretched) versions match the details in the data set. If these details are small enough,

low-frequency components. Then, by correlating the they might be omitted without substantially affecting the

original signal with wavelet functions of different sizes, main features of the data set.

the details of the signal can be obtained at several scales. The de-noising of EEG signal is carried out by using

These correlations with the different wavelet functions can different combinations of threshold limit, thresholding

be arranged in a hierarchical scheme called function and window sizes. Choice of threshold limit and

multi-resolution decomposition. The multi-resolution thresholding function is a crucial step in the denoising

decomposition algorithm [5] separates the signal into procedure, as it should not remove the original signal

“details” at different scales and a coarser representation of coefficients leading to loss of critical information in the

the signal named “approximation”. The basic DWT analyzed data

algorithm can be modified to give a Stationary Wavelet

Transform (SWT) [14] that no longer depends on the In this paper, the following thresholding ( statistical

choice of origin. As a consequence of the sub sampling empirical ) formula is used for calculating the thresholding

operations in the pyramidal algorithm, the DWT does not limits. This formula produces better de-noised results

preserve translation invariance. This means that a than [11], which is applied to the entire length of the

translation of the original signal does not necessarily imply signal.

a translation of the corresponding wavelet coefficients.

The SWT has been introduced in order to preserve this

IJCSNS International Journal of Computer Science and Network Security, VOL.8 No.9, September 2008 89

200

Threshold value

Amplitude (µV)

150

⎛ x −σ ⎞

Tk = N × ⎜⎜ ⎟

100

(3)

⎟

⎝ x +σ

50

⎠ 0

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Time (Sec)

Fig.2 EOG Contaminated EEG

x - mean of all samples

σ - standard deviation of all samples The de-noising of EEG signal is carried out by using

threshold limit, threshold function and window size.

Choice of threshold limit and thresholding function is a

The thresholding function used in this work are as

crucial step in the de-noising procedure, as it should not

follows :

remove the original signal coefficients leading to loss of

If wavelet coefficient value > threshold value

critical information in the analyzed data. Figure 3

shows a 10 second epoch of EOG contaminated EEG with

then new wavelet its corrected version using our proposed method.

coefficient value = ( - 0.7) * ( wavelet coefficient value ) 250

200

else new wavelet

coefficient value = (old) wavelet coefficient value 150

Amplitude (µV)

100

4. Methodology

50

following method. To estimate the signal x(t), we -50

0 1 2 3 4 5

Time (Sec)

6 7 8 9 10

Fig.3 Contaminated EEG and Corrected EEG

(i) The Stationary Wavelet Transform (SWT) to the

Figure 4 shows the power spectra of the contaminated

contaminated EEG signal with Symlet (sym3) as a

EEG and the corrected EEG. From this figure it is shown

basis function and decomposes upto eight levels

that, the powers of the spectral components have been

(ii) To calculate statistical measures , mean and standard

fully retained. The cross correlation between the noisy

deviation for the entire length of the signal.

EEG and EOG is shown in figure 5. This shows how

(iii) To apply equation (3) to fix the suitable threshold

close both the signals are in terms of the shape.

value.

(iv) To apply threshold function to fix the wavelet 60

EEG with artifact

coefficients in a new position. Corrected EEG

40

(v) To apply wavelet reconstruction procedure to

Amplitude (dB)

0

5. Results and Discussion

-20

EEG data with ocular artifacts are taken from http:// -40

www.sccn.ucsd.edu/~arno/famzdata/publicly_ 0 10 20 30

Frequency (Hz)

40 50 60

The data is sampled at a rate of 128 samples per second. Fig. 4 Power Spectra Plot

The effect of ocular artifacts is dominant in the Frontal and

Fronto-polar channels like FP1, FP2, F7 and F8. Hence

it is sufficient to apply the method to these channels.

Consider the 10 second EOG contaminated EEG epoch

(sampled at a rate of 128 samples/second) shown in Fig.2

90 IJCSNS International Journal of Computer Science and Network Security, VOL.8 No.9, September 2008

1 250

Corrected EEG

EEG with artifact

0.8

200

Correlation c oeffic ient

0.6

150

Amplitude (uV)

0.4

100

0.2

50

0

0 10 20 30 40 50 60

0

Frequency (Hz)

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Time(sec)

The results obtained has been compared with the existing

methods. Figure 6 and 7 shows the artifact removal using

[11,12]. The proposed method shows a better result when 250

EEG With Mean+2*Std

EEG With 1.5*std

compared with [11] which is depicted in figure 8,9 and 200

EEG With Proposed Method

10. One can observed that the artifacts in EEG signals EEG with Artifacts

100

250 50

Corrected EEG

EEG with artifact

200 0

150 -50

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Amplitude (uV)

Time(sec)

100

(a)

50

500

0 0

-500

-50

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Time(sec) 100

(mean + 2*standard deviation )

-100

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

100

250

Corrected EEG 0

EEG with artifact

200 -100

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

50

150

Amplitude (uV)

0

100

-50

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

50

0

(ii) Modified Threshold function

(iii) Threshold function

-50

0 1 2 3 4 5

Time(sec)

6 7 8 9 10 (iv) Proposed method

Fig. 7 Threshold function Fig. 9 (a), (b) Comparison results

( 1.5*standard deviation )

IJCSNS International Journal of Computer Science and Network Security, VOL.8 No.9, September 2008 91

x 10

5 [4] Vincent J. Samar, Ajit Bopardikar, Raghuveer Rao and

16

EEG With Mean+2*Std

Kenneth Swartz, “ Wavelet analysis of neuroelectric

14 EEG With 1.5*std waveforms: A conceptual tutorial “ , Brain and Language,

EEG With Proposed Method 66, pp. 7 – 60, 1999.

12

[5] S.G. Mallat, “ A Theory for Multiresolution signal

10 decomposition : The Wavelet representation “, IEEE Trans.

on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intell.,Vol. 2 (7), pp. 674 –

Amplitude (uV)

8

693, 1989.

6

[6] C. Sidney Burrus, Ramesh A Gopinath and Haitao Guo,

4 “ Introduction to Wavelets and Wavelet Transforms “,

Prentice-Hall international Inc, 1998.

2

[7] W.J. Tompkins, “ Biomedical digital signal processing“,

0 New Jersey, Prentice Hall, 1993

-2 [8] D.L. Donoho, “ De-noising by Soft Thresholding”, IEEE

Trans. Info.Theory, Vol. 41, pp. 613-627, 1995

-4

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 [9] V. Krishnaveni, S. Jayaraman, S. Aravind, V. Hariharasudhan

Time(sec) and K. Ramadoss, “ Automatic identification and removal of

Fig. 10 Cross Correlation Plot ocular artifacts from EEG using Wavelet transform“,

Measurement Science Review, Vol. 6 (4), 2006.

[10].V. Krishnaveni, S. Jayaraman, L. Anitha and K. Ramadoss,

“ Removal of Ocular Artifacts from EEG using Adaptive

6. Conclusion thresholding of Wavelet coefficients “, Journal of Neural

Engineering, Vol.3, pp.338-346, 2006

The accuracy of the technique has been checked on several [11] V. Krishnaveni, S. Jayaraman, N. Malmurugan,

artifical signals. In this paper, a method to remove ocular A.Kandasamy and D. Ramadoss,“Non adaptive thresholding

methods for correcting ocular artifacts in EEG“, Academic

artifacts using a new threshold formula and threshold

Open Internet Journal, Vol.13, 2004

function is given. Our method gives a better result without [12] T Zikov, S Bibian, G.A. Dumont , M. Huzmezan and

any complexity and also retains the original information C.R.Ries, “ A wavelet based de-nosing technique for

contained in the EEG signal. Power Spectral Density ocular artifact correction of the electroencephalogram“,

plot and Correlation plot are used as performance metrics. 24th Annual conference of the IEEE Engineering in

We conclude that our proposed statistical method gives Medicine and Biology, Vol.1, pp.98-105, 2002

lesser complexity and easier to remove the artifacts with [13] D.L. Donoho and I.M. Johnstone, “ Adapting to

the help of wavelet decomposition. It is an efficient unknown smoothness via wavelet shrinkage”, Journal of

technique for improving the quality of EEG signals in the American Stat. Association, 90(432), pp. 1200-1224,

1995

biomedical analysis.

[14] G.P. Nason and B.W. Silverman, “ The Stationary Wavelet

Transform and some Statistical Applications “, Tech. Rep.

BS8 1Tw, University of Bristol, (1995).

Acknowledgement

The authors would like to express their deep gratitude to P. Senthil Kumar received the

M.Sc.,and M.Phil degrees in

Prof. S. Jayaraman, Head, Dept. of Electronics and

Mathematics from Bharathiar Univ.

Communication Engg., PSG College of Technology, India in 1987 and 2001 respectively.

Coimbatore. He is working as a Senior Lecturer in

Department. of Mathematics and

References Computer Applications, PSG College

[1] P. LeVan, E. Urrestarrazu and J. Gotman, “A system for of Technology, Coimbatore. India. He

automatic artifact removal in ictal scalp EEG based on is pursuing his Ph.D. under the

independent component analysis and Bayesian classifi- guidance of Prof. R. Arumuganathan.

-cation”, Clinical Neurophysiology, Vol. 117(4), pp. 912- His research interests include wavelet transforms and linear

927, 2006. algebra. He is a life member of ISTE.

[2] R.J. Croft, R.J. Barry, “ Removal of ocular artifact from the

EEG : a review “, Clinical Neurophysiology, Vol.30(1),

pp. 5 – 19, 2000.

[3] M. Akay, “Time Frequency and Wavelets in Biomedical

Signal Processing ”, IEEE Press series in Biomedical

Engineering, 1998

92 IJCSNS International Journal of Computer Science and Network Security, VOL.8 No.9, September 2008

Dr. R.Arumuganathan

received the M.Sc., M.Phil., degrees in

Mathematics from Madurai Kamaraj

Univ., India. He received Doctoral

degree from Bharathiar Univ. India in

1998. Now he is working as a

Professor in the Dept. of Mathematics

and Computer Applications., PSG

College of Technology, Coimbatore,

India. His research interests include

queueing theory and wavelet transforms.

B.E and M.E. degrees in Electronics

and Communication Engineering from

Anna Univ. India in 2003 and 200

respectively. His area of interests are

digital signal processing and

bio-medical signal processing.

PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore. India. His area of

interests are bio-medical signal processing and medical imaging.

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