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The major limitation for the acquisition of high-quality magnetoencephalography (MEG) recordings is the presence of disturbances of physiological and technical origins: eye movements, cardiac signals, muscular contractions, and environmental noise are serious problems for MEG signal analysis. In the last years, multi-channel MEG systems have undergone rapid technological developments in terms of noise reduction, and many processing methods have been proposed for artifact rejection. Independent component analysis (ICA) has already shown to be an effective and generally applicable technique for concurrently removing artifacts and noise from the MEG recordings. However, no standardized automated system based on ICA has become available so far, because of the intrinsic difficulty in the reliable categorization of the source signals obtained with this technique. In this work, approximate entropy (ApEn), a measure of data regularity, is successfully used for the classification of the signals produced by ICA, allowing for an automated artifact rejection. The proposed method has been tested using MEG data sets collected during somatosensory, auditory and visual stimulation. It was demonstrated to be effective in attenuating both biological artifacts and environmental noise, in order to reconstruct clear signals that can be used for improving brain source localizations.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





160 - 173


Adult, Algorithms, Artifacts, Auditory Cortex, Automation, Cerebral Cortex, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Magnetoencephalography, Male, Noise, Principal Component Analysis, ROC Curve, Somatosensory Cortex, Visual Cortex