Objective: Brain-Computer Interface technologies (BCI) enable the direct communication between humans and computers by analyzing brain measurements, such as electroencephalography (EEG). These technologies have been applied to a variety of domains, including neuroprosthetic control and the monitoring of epileptic seizures. Existing BCI systems primarily use a priori knowledge of EEG features of interest to build machine learning models. Recently, convolutional networks have been used for automatic feature extraction of large image databases, where they have obtained state-of-the-art results. In this work we introduce EEGNet, a compact fully convolutional network for EEG-based BCIs developed using Deep Learning approaches. Methods: EEGNet is a 4-layer convolutional network that uses filter factorization for learning a compact representation of EEG time series. EEGNet is one of the smallest convolutional networks to date, having less than 2200 parameters for a binary classification. Results: We show state-of-the-art classification performance across four different BCI paradigms: P300 event-related potential, error-related negativity, movement-related cortical potential, and sensory motor rhythm, with as few as 500 EEG trials. We also show that adding more trials reduces the error variance of prediction rather than improving classification performance. Conclusion: We provide preliminary evidence suggesting that our model can be used with small EEG databases while improving upon the state-of-the-art performance across several tasks and across subjects. Significance: The EEGNet neural network architecture provides state-of-the-art performance across several tasks and across subjects, challenging the notion that large datasets are required to obtain optimal performance.
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