Automated methodology for optimal selection of minimum electrode subsets for accurate EEG source estimation based on Genetic Algorithm optimization
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionScientific Reports. 2022, 12 (1), . 10.1038/s41598-022-15252-0
High-density Electroencephalography (HD-EEG) has proven to be the EEG montage that estimates the neural activity inside the brain with highest accuracy. Multiple studies have reported the effect of electrode number on source localization for specific sources and specific electrode configurations. The electrodes for these configurations are often manually selected to uniformly cover the entire head, going from 32 to 128 electrodes, but electrode configurations are not often selected according to their contribution to estimation accuracy. In this work, an optimization-based study is proposed to determine the minimum number of electrodes that can be used and to identify the optimal combinations of electrodes that can retain the localization accuracy of HD-EEG reconstructions. This optimization approach incorporates scalp landmark positions of widely used EEG montages. In this way, a systematic search for the minimum electrode subset is performed for single- and multiple-source localization problems. The Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm II (NSGA-II) combined with source reconstruction methods is used to formulate a multi-objective optimization problem that concurrently minimizes (1) the localization error for each source and (2) the number of required EEG electrodes. The method can be used for evaluating the source localization quality of low-density EEG systems (e.g. consumer-grade wearable EEG). We performed an evaluation over synthetic and real EEG datasets with known ground-truth. The experimental results show that optimal subsets with 6 electrodes can attain an equal or better accuracy than HD-EEG (with more than 200 channels) for a single source case. This happened when reconstructing a particular brain activity in more than 88% of the cases in synthetic signals and 63% in real signals, and in more than 88% and 73% of cases when considering optimal combinations with 8 channels. For a multiple-source case of three sources (only with synthetic signals), it was found that optimized combinations of 8, 12 and 16 electrodes attained an equal or better accuracy than HD-EEG with 231 electrodes in at least 58%, 76%, and 82% of cases respectively. Additionally, for such electrode numbers, lower mean errors and standard deviations than with 231 electrodes were obtained.