A Generalizable and Discriminative Learning Method for Deep EEG-Based Motor Imagery Classification

Xiuyu Huang, Nan Zhou, Kup Sze Choi

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have been widely applied to the motor imagery (MI) classification field, significantly improving the state-of-the-art (SoA) performance in terms of classification accuracy. Although innovative model structures are thoroughly explored, little attention was drawn toward the objective function. In most of the available CNNs in the MI area, the standard cross-entropy loss is usually performed as the objective function, which only ensures deep feature separability. Corresponding to the limitation of current objective functions, a new loss function with a combination of smoothed cross-entropy (with label smoothing) and center loss is proposed as the supervision signal for the model in the MI recognition task. Specifically, the smoothed cross-entropy is calculated by the entropy between the predicted labels and the one-hot hard labels regularized by a noise of uniform distribution. The center loss learns a deep feature center for each class and minimizes the distance between deep features and their corresponding centers. The proposed loss tries to optimize the model in two learning objectives, preventing overconfident predictions and increasing deep feature discriminative capacity (interclass separability and intraclass invariant), which guarantee the effectiveness of MI recognition models. We conduct extensive experiments on two well-known benchmarks (BCI competition IV-2a and IV-2b) to evaluate our method. The result indicates that the proposed approach achieves better performance than other SoA models on both datasets. The proposed learning scheme offers a more robust optimization for the CNN model in the MI classification task, simultaneously decreasing the risk of overfitting and increasing the discriminative power of deeply learned features.

Original languageEnglish
Article number760979
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2021


  • center loss
  • convolutional neural networks
  • electroencephalogram
  • label smoothing
  • motor imagery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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