Extended Signal-Space Separation method for improved interference suppression in MEG

Liisa Maria Helle, Jukka Nenonen, Eric Larson, Juha Simola, Lauri Parkkonen, Samu Taulu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Objective: Magnetoencephalography (MEG) signals typically reflect a mixture of neuromagnetic fields, subject-related artifacts, external interference and sensor noise. Even inside a magnetically shielded room, external interference can be significantly stronger than brain signals. Methods such as signal-space projection (SSP) and signal-space separation (SSS) have been developed to suppress this residual interference, but their performance might not be sufficient in cases of strong interference or when the sources of interference change over time. Methods: Here we suggest a new method, extended signal-space separation (eSSS), which combines a physical model of the magnetic fields (as in SSS) with a statistical description of the interference (as in SSP). We demonstrate the performance of this method via simulations and experimental MEG data. Results: The eSSS method clearly outperforms SSS and SSP in interference suppression regardless of the extent of a priori information available on the interference sources. We also show that the method does not cause location or amplitude bias in dipole modeling. Conclusion: Our eSSS method provides better data quality than SSP or SSS and can be readily combined with other SSS-based methods, such as tSSS or head movement compensation. Thus, eSSS extends and complements the interference suppression techniques currently available for MEG. Significance: Due to its ability to suppress external interference to the level of sensor noise, eSSS can facilitate single-trial data analysis, exemplified in automated analysis of epileptic data. Such an enhanced suppression performance is especially important in environments with large interference fields.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2211-2221
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number7
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Calibration
  • External interference
  • interference suppression
  • Interference suppression
  • Magnetic noise
  • Magnetic sensors
  • Magnetic separation
  • Magnetic shielding
  • magnetoencephalography
  • principal component analysis
  • Sensor arrays
  • signal processing
  • Signal-Space Separation


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