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Volume 2018, Article ID 6740846, 8 pages
Research Article

Factor Analysis for Finding Invariant Neural Descriptors of Human Emotions

1Department of Electronics Telecommunications and Informatics/IEETA, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal
2Technical University of Sofia, Sofia, Bulgaria

Correspondence should be addressed to Petia Georgieva;

Received 2 August 2017; Accepted 16 January 2018; Published 19 March 2018

Academic Editor: Vittorio Loreto

Copyright © 2018 Vitor Pereira et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A major challenge in decoding human emotions from electroencephalogram (EEG) data is finding representations that are invariant to inter- and intrasubject differences. Most of the previous studies are focused in building an individual discrimination model for every subject (subject dependent model). Building subject-independent models is a harder problem due to the high data variability between different subjects and different experiments with the same subject. This paper explores, for the first time, the Factor Analysis as an efficient technique to extract temporal and spatial EEG features suitable to build brain-computer interface for decoding human emotions across various subjects. Our findings show that early waves (temporal window of 200–400 ms after the stimulus onset) carry more information about the valence of the emotion. Also, spatial location of features, with a stronger impact on the emotional valence, occurs in the parietal and occipital regions of the brain. All discrimination models (NN, SVM, kNN, and RF) demonstrate better discrimination rate of the positive valence. These results match closely experimental psychology hypothesis that, during early periods after the stimulus presentation, the brain response—to images with highly positive valence—is stronger.