Improving EEG Muscle Artifact Removal with an EMG Array

Juan Andres Mucarquer, Pavel Prado, Maria Jose Escobar, Wael El-Deredy, Matias Zanartu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Removal of artifacts induced by muscle activity is crucial for analysis of the electroencephalogram (EEG), and continues to be a challenge in experiments where the subject may speak, change facial expressions, or move. Ensemble empirical mode decomposition with canonical correlation analysis (EEMD-CCA) has been proven to be an efficient method for denoising of EEG contaminated with muscle artifacts. EEMD-CCA, likewise the majority of algorithms, does not incorporate any statistical information of the artifact, namely, electromyogram (EMG) recorded over the muscles actively contaminating the EEG. In this paper, we propose to extend EEMD-CCA in order to include an EMG array as information to aid the removal of artifacts, assessing the performance gain achieved when the number of EMG channels grow. By filtering adaptively (recursive least squares, EMG array as reference) each component resulting from CCA, we aim to ameliorate the distortion of brain signals induced by artifacts and denoising methods. We simulated several noise scenarios based on a linear contamination model, between real and synthetic EEG and EMG signals, and varied the number of EMG channels available to the filter. Our results exhibit a substantial improvement in the performance as the number of EMG electrodes increase from 2 to 16. Further increasing the number of EMG channels up to 128 did not have a significant impact on the performance. We conclude by recommending the use of EMG electrodes to filter components, as it is a computationally inexpensive enhancement that impacts significantly on performance using only a few electrodes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8704181
Pages (from-to)815-824
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2020


  • Adaptive filtering
  • artifact removal
  • blind-source-separation
  • electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • electromyogram (EMG)
  • muscle artifacts


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