Ocular and cardiac artifact rejection for real-time analysis in MEG

Lukas Breuer, Jürgen Dammers, Timothy P. L. Roberts, N. Jon Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Recently, magnetoencephalography (MEG) based real-time brain computing interfaces (BCI) have been developed to enable novel and promising methods for neuroscience research. It is well known that artifact rejection prior to source localization largely enhances the localization accuracy. However, many BCI approaches neglect real-time artifact removal due to its time consuming process. New method: The method (referred to as ocular and cardiac artifact rejection for real-time analysis, OCARTA) is based on constrained independent component analysis (cICA), where a priori information of the underlying source signals is used to optimize and accelerate signal decomposition. Thereby, prior information is incorporated by using the subject's individual cardiac and ocular activity. The algorithm automatically uses different separation strategies depending on the underlying source activity. Results: OCARTA was tested and applied to data from three different but most commonly used MEG systems (4D-Neuroimaging, VSM MedTech Inc. and Elekta Neuromag). Ocular and cardiac artifacts were effectively reduced within one iteration at a time delay of 1. ms performed on a standard PC (Intel Core i5-2410M). Comparison with existing methods: The artifact rejection results achieved with OCARTA are in line with the results reported for offline ICA-based artifact rejection methods. Conclusion: Due to the fast and subject-specific signal decomposition the new approach introduced here is capable of real-time ocular and cardiac artifact rejection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-114
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Constrained independent component analysis (cICA)
  • Cross trial phase statistics (CTPS)
  • Magnetoencephalography (MEG)
  • Ocular and cardiac artifact rejection for real-time analysis (OCARTA)
  • Real-time artifact reduction

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