Methods for artifact detection and removal from scalp EEG: A review

Md Kafiul Islam, Amir Rastegarnia, Zhi Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

295 Scopus citations


Electroencephalography (EEG) is the most popular brain activity recording technique used in wide range of applications. One of the commonly faced problems in EEG recordings is the presence of artifacts that come from sources other than brain and contaminate the acquired signals significantly. Therefore, much research over the past 15 years has focused on identifying ways for handling such artifacts in the preprocessing stage. However, this is still an active area of research as no single existing artifact detection/removal method is complete or universal. This article presents an extensive review of the existing state-of-the-art artifact detection and removal methods from scalp EEG for all potential EEG-based applications and analyses the pros and cons of each method. First, a general overview of the different artifact types that are found in scalp EEG and their effect on particular applications are presented. In addition, the methods are compared based on their ability to remove certain types of artifacts and their suitability in relevant applications (only functional comparison is provided not performance evaluation of methods). Finally, the future direction and expected challenges of current research is discussed. Therefore, this review is expected to be helpful for interested researchers who will develop and/or apply artifact handling algorithm/technique in future for their applications as well as for those willing to improve the existing algorithms or propose a new solution in this particular area of research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-305
Number of pages19
JournalNeurophysiologie Clinique
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by A*STAR PSF Grant R-263-000-699-305 and NUS YIA Grant R-263-000-A29-133 .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS


  • Ambulatory EEG
  • Artifact removal
  • Brain-computer interface (BCI)
  • Empirical mode decomposition (EMD)
  • Independent component analysis (ICA)
  • Scalp EEG
  • Wavelet transform


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