Perturbation-evoked potentials can be classified from single-trial EEG

Jonas Ditz, Andreas Schwarz, Gernot R Müller-Putz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Loss of balance control can have serious consequences on interaction between humans and machines as well as the general well-being of humans. Perceived balance perturbations are always accompanied by a specific cortical activation, the so-called perturbation-evoked potential (PEP). In this study, we investigate the possibility to classify PEPs from ongoing EEG.

APPROACH: 15 healthy subjects were exposed to seated whole-body perturbations. Each participant performed 120 trials; they were rapidly tilted to the right and left, 60 times respectively.

MAIN RESULTS: We achieved classification accuracies of more than 85% between PEPs and rest EEG using a window-based classification approach. Different window lengths and electrode layouts were compared. We were able to achieve excellent classification performance (85.5 ± 9.0% accuracy) by using a short window length of 200 ms and a minimal electrode layout consisting of only the Cz electrode. The peak classification accuracy coincides in time with the strongest component of PEPs, called N1.

SIGNIFICANCE: We showed that PEPs can be discriminated against ongoing EEG with high accuracy. These findings can contribute to the development of a system that can detect balance perturbations online.

Original languageEnglish
Article number036008
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Neural Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Biomedical Engineering

Fields of Expertise

  • Human- & Biotechnology


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