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Method for exploratory cluster analysis and visualisation of single-trial ERP ensembles

Williams, N. J., Nasuto, S. and Saddy, D. ORCID: (2015) Method for exploratory cluster analysis and visualisation of single-trial ERP ensembles. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 250. pp. 22-33. ISSN 0165-0270

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2015.02.007


Background: The validity of ensemble averaging on event-related potential (ERP) data has been questioned, due to its assumption that the ERP is identical across trials. Thus, there is a need for preliminary testing for cluster structure in the data. New method: We propose a complete pipeline for the cluster analysis of ERP data. To increase the signalto-noise (SNR) ratio of the raw single-trials, we used a denoising method based on Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD). Next, we used a bootstrap-based method to determine the number of clusters, through a measure called the Stability Index (SI). We then used a clustering algorithm based on a Genetic Algorithm (GA)to define initial cluster centroids for subsequent k-means clustering. Finally, we visualised the clustering results through a scheme based on Principal Component Analysis (PCA). Results: After validating the pipeline on simulated data, we tested it on data from two experiments – a P300 speller paradigm on a single subject and a language processing study on 25 subjects. Results revealed evidence for the existence of 6 clusters in one experimental condition from the language processing study. Further, a two-way chi-square test revealed an influence of subject on cluster membership.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Department of Bio-Engineering
ID Code:39815
Uncontrolled Keywords:ERP cluster analysis, Empirical Mode Decomposition Stability Index Genetic Algorithms k-means clustering

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