Automatic correction of ocular artifacts in the EEG: A comparison of regression-based and component-based methods

Garrick L. Wallstrom, Robert E. Kass, Anita Miller, Jeffrey F. Cohn, Nathan A. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

263 Scopus citations


A variety of procedures have been proposed to correct ocular artifacts in the electroencephalogram (EEG), including methods based on regression, principal components analysis (PCA) and independent component analysis (ICA). The current study compared these three methods, and it evaluated a modified regression approach using Bayesian adaptive regression splines to filter the electrooculogram (EOG) before computing correction factors. We applied each artifact correction procedure to real and simulated EEG data of varying epoch lengths and then quantified the impact of correction on spectral parameters of the EEG. We found that the adaptive filter improved regression-based artifact correction. An automated PCA method effectively reduced ocular artifacts and resulted in minimal spectral distortion, whereas ICA correction appeared to distort power between 5 and 20 Hz. In general, reducing the epoch length improved the accuracy of estimating spectral power in the alpha (7.5-12.5 Hz) and beta (12.5-19.5 Hz) bands, but it worsened the accuracy for power in the theta (3.5-7.5 Hz) band and distorted time domain features. Results supported the use of regression-based and PCA-based ocular artifact correction and suggested a need for further studies examining possible spectral distortion from ICA-based correction procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-119
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptive filter
  • Analysis
  • Electroencephalography
  • Independent components analysis
  • Ocular artifact
  • Principal components
  • Regression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Physiology (medical)


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