Interpretable Convolutional Neural Networks for Decoding and Analyzing Neural Time Series Data

Borra, Davide (2022) Interpretable Convolutional Neural Networks for Decoding and Analyzing Neural Time Series Data, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Ingegneria biomedica, elettrica e dei sistemi, 34 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/10345.
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Machine learning is widely adopted to decode multi-variate neural time series, including electroencephalographic (EEG) and single-cell recordings. Recent solutions based on deep learning (DL) outperformed traditional decoders by automatically extracting relevant discriminative features from raw or minimally pre-processed signals. Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) have been successfully applied to EEG and are the most common DL-based EEG decoders in the state-of-the-art (SOA). However, the current research is affected by some limitations. SOA CNNs for EEG decoding usually exploit deep and heavy structures with the risk of overfitting small datasets, and architectures are often defined empirically. Furthermore, CNNs are mainly validated by designing within-subject decoders. Crucially, the automatically learned features mainly remain unexplored; conversely, interpreting these features may be of great value to use decoders also as analysis tools, highlighting neural signatures underlying the different decoded brain or behavioral states in a data-driven way. Lastly, SOA DL-based algorithms used to decode single-cell recordings rely on more complex, slower to train and less interpretable networks than CNNs, and the use of CNNs with these signals has not been investigated. This PhD research addresses the previous limitations, with reference to P300 and motor decoding from EEG, and motor decoding from single-neuron activity. CNNs were designed light, compact, and interpretable. Moreover, multiple training strategies were adopted, including transfer learning, which could reduce training times promoting the application of CNNs in practice. Furthermore, CNN-based EEG analyses were proposed to study neural features in the spatial, temporal and frequency domains, and proved to better highlight and enhance relevant neural features related to P300 and motor states than canonical EEG analyses. Remarkably, these analyses could be used, in perspective, to design novel EEG biomarkers for neurological or neurodevelopmental disorders. Lastly, CNNs were developed to decode single-neuron activity, providing a better compromise between performance and model complexity.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Borra, Davide
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Deep learning; Convolutional neural networks (CNNs); Electroencephalogram (EEG); Single-neuron recordings; Interpretability; Explanation techniques; Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs)
Data di discussione
29 Giugno 2022

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