Spectral independent component analysis with noise modeling for M/EEG source separation

21 Aug 2020  ·  Pierre Ablin, Jean-François Cardoso, Alexandre Gramfort ·

Background: Independent Component Analysis (ICA) is a widespread tool for exploration and denoising of electroencephalography (EEG) or magnetoencephalography (MEG) signals. In its most common formulation, ICA assumes that the signal matrix is a noiseless linear mixture of independent sources that are assumed non-Gaussian. A limitation is that it enforces to estimate as many sources as sensors or to rely on a detrimental PCA step. Methods: We present the Spectral Matching ICA (SMICA) model. Signals are modelled as a linear mixing of independent sources corrupted by additive noise, where sources and the noise are stationary Gaussian time series. Thanks to the Gaussian assumption, the negative log-likelihood has a simple expression as a sum of divergences between the empirical spectral covariance matrices of the signals and those predicted by the model. The model parameters can then be estimated by the expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm. Results: Experiments on phantom MEG datasets show that SMICA can recover dipole locations more precisely than usual ICA algorithms or Maxwell filtering when the dipole amplitude is low. Experiments on EEG datasets show that SMICA identifies a source subspace which contains sources that have less pairwise mutual information, and are better explained by the projection of a single dipole on the scalp. Comparison with existing methods: Noiseless ICA models lead to degenerate likelihood when there are fewer sources than sensors, while SMICA succeeds without resorting to prior dimension reduction. Conclusions: SMICA is a promising alternative to other noiseless ICA models based on non-Gaussian assumptions.

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