Time-Frequency Analysis of Scalp EEG With Hilbert-Huang Transform and Deep Learning

Jingyi Zheng, Mingli Liang, Sujata Sinha, Linqiang Ge, Wei Yu, Arne Ekstrom, Fushing Hsieh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Electroencephalography (EEG) is a brain imaging approach that has been widely used in neuroscience and clinical settings. The conventional EEG analyses usually require pre-defined frequency bands when characterizing neural oscillations and extracting features for classifying EEG signals. However, neural responses are naturally heterogeneous by showing variations in frequency bands of brainwaves and peak frequencies of oscillatory modes across individuals. Fail to account for such variations might result in information loss and classifiers with low accuracy but high variation across individuals. To address these issues, we present a systematic time-frequency analysis approach for analyzing scalp EEG signals. In particular, we propose a data-driven method to compute the subject-specific frequency bands for brain oscillations via Hilbert-Huang Transform, lifting the restriction of using fixed frequency bands for all subjects. Then, we propose two novel metrics to quantify the power and frequency aspects of brainwaves represented by sub-signals decomposed from the EEG signals. The effectiveness of the proposed metrics are tested on two scalp EEG datasets and compared with four commonly used features sets extracted from wavelet and Hilbert-Huang Transform. The validation results show that the proposed metrics are more discriminatory than other features leading to accuracies in the range of 94.93% to 99.84%. Besides classification, the proposed metrics show great potential in quantification of neural oscillations and serving as biomarkers in the neuroscience research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1549-1559
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022


  • Deep learing (DL)
  • Electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD)
  • Hilbert-Huang Transform (HHT)
  • Subject-specific frequency bands

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Information Management
  • Health Informatics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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