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In this paper, we use a two-stage sparse factorization approach for blindly estimating the channel parameters and then estimating source components for electroencephalogram (EEG) signals. EEG signals are assumed to be linear mixtures of source components, artifacts, etc. Therefore, a raw EEG data matrix can be factored into the product of two matrices, one of which represents the mixing matrix and the other the source component matrix. Furthermore, the components are sparse in the time-frequency domain, i.e., the factorization is a sparse factorization in the time frequency domain. It is a challenging task to estimate the mixing matrix. Our extensive analysis and computational results, which were based on many sets of EEG data, not only provide firm evidences supporting the above assumption, but also prompt us to propose a new algorithm for estimating the mixing matrix. After the mixing matrix is estimated, the source components are estimated in the time frequency domain using a linear programming method. In an example of the potential applications of our approach, we analyzed the EEG data that was obtained from a modified Sternberg memory experiment. Two almost uncorrelated components obtained by applying the sparse factorization method were selected for phase synchronization analysis. Several interesting findings were obtained, especially that memory-related synchronization and desynchronization appear in the alpha band, and that the strength of alpha band synchronization is related to memory performance.
Date of Publication: March 2006