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Spatial patterns underlying population differences in the background EEG

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A method is described which can be used to extract common spatial patterns underlying the EEGs from two human populations. These spatial patterns account, in the least-squares sense, maximally for the variance in the EEGs from one population and minimally for the variance in the other population and therefore would seem to be optimal for quantitatively discriminating between the individual EEGs in the two populations. By using this method, it is suggested that the problems associated with the more common approach to discriminating EEGs, significance probability mapping, can be avoided. The method is tested using EEGs from a population of normal subjects and using the EEGs from a population of patients with neurologic disorders. The results in most cases are excellent and the misclassification which occurs in some cases is attributed to the nonhomogeneity of the patient population particularly. The advantages of the method for feature selection, for automatically classifying the clinical EEG, and with respect to the reference-free nature of the selected features are discussed.

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Acknowledgement: The financial support provided by the National Health Research and Development Program (NHRDP 6609-1330-51) of the Government of Canada is gratefully acknowledged.

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Koles, Z.J., Lazar, M.S. & Zhou, S.Z. Spatial patterns underlying population differences in the background EEG. Brain Topogr 2, 275–284 (1990).

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