Mental State Detection Using Riemannian Geometry on Electroencephalogram Brain Signals

Selina Christin Wriessnegger, Philipp Raggam, Kyriaki Kostoglou, Gernot Müller-Putz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The goal of this study was to implement a Riemannian geometry (RG)-based algorithm to detect high mental workload (MWL) and mental fatigue (MF) using task-induced electroencephalogram (EEG) signals. In order to elicit high MWL and MF, the participants performed a cognitively demanding task in the form of the letter n-back task. We analyzed the time-varying characteristics of the EEG band power (BP) features in the theta and alpha frequency band at different task conditions and cortical areas by employing a RG-based framework. MWL and MF were considered as too high, when the Riemannian distances of the task-run EEG reached or surpassed the threshold of the baseline EEG. The results of this study showed a BP increase in the theta and alpha frequency bands with increasing experiment duration, indicating elevated MWL and MF that impedes/hinders the task performance of the participants. High MWL and MF was detected in 8 out of 20 participants. The Riemannian distances also showed a steady increase toward the threshold with increasing experiment duration, with the most detections occurring toward the end of the experiment. To support our findings, subjective ratings (questionnaires concerning fatigue and workload levels) and behavioral measures (performance accuracies and response times) were also considered.
Original languageEnglish
Article number746081
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • band power features
  • EEG
  • mental fatigue
  • mental workload
  • Riemannian geometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Fields of Expertise

  • Human- & Biotechnology


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