Decoding of intentional actions from scalp electroencephalography (EEG) in freely-behaving infants

Zachery R. Hernandez, Jesus Cruz-Garza, Teresa Tse, Jose L. Contreras-Vidal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The mirror neuron system (MNS) in humans is thought to enable an individual's understanding of the meaning of actions performed by others and the potential imitation and learning of those actions. In humans, electroencephalographic (EEG) changes in sensorimotor a-band at central electrodes, which desynchronizes both during execution and observation of goal-directed actions (i.e., ν suppression), have been considered an analog to MNS function. However, methodological and developmental issues, as well as the nature of generalized ν suppression to imagined, observed, and performed actions, have yet to provide a mechanistic relationship between EEG ν-rhythm and MNS function, and the extent to which EEG can be used to infer intent during MNS tasks remains unknown. In this study we present a novel methodology using active EEG and inertial sensors to record brain activity and behavioral actions from freely-behaving infants during exploration, imitation, attentive rest, pointing, reaching and grasping, and interaction with an actor. We used 5-band (1-4Hz) EEG as input to a dimensionality reduction algorithm (locality-preserving Fisher's discriminant analysis, LFDA) followed by a neural classifier (Gaussian mixture models, GMMs) to decode the each MNS task performed by freely-behaving 6-24 month old infants during interaction with an adult actor. Here, we present results from a 20-month male infant to illustrate our approach and show the feasibility of EEG-based classification of freely occurring MNS behaviors displayed by an infant. These results, which provide an alternative to the ν-rhythm theory of MNS function, indicate the informative nature of EEG in relation to intentionality (goal) for MNS tasks which may support action-understanding and thus bear implications for advancing the understanding of MNS function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2014 36th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2014
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages2115-2118
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781424479290
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2 2014
Event2014 36th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2014 - Chicago, United States
Duration: Aug 26 2014Aug 30 2014

Publication series

Name2014 36th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2014

Other

Other2014 36th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2014
CountryUnited States
CityChicago
Period8/26/148/30/14

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Medicine(all)

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