CSLP-AE: A Contrastive Split-Latent Permutation Autoencoder Framework for Zero-Shot Electroencephalography Signal Conversion

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

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Anders Nørskov, Alexander Neergaard Zahid, Morten Mørup


Electroencephalography (EEG) is a prominent non-invasive neuroimaging technique providing insights into brain function. Unfortunately, EEG data exhibit a high degree of noise and variability across subjects hampering generalizable signal extraction. Therefore, a key aim in EEG analysis is to extract the underlying neural activation (content) as well as to account for the individual subject variability (style). We hypothesize that the ability to convert EEG signals between tasks and subjects requires the extraction of latent representations accounting for content and style. Inspired by recent advancements in voice conversion technologies, we propose a novel contrastive split-latent permutation autoencoder (CSLP-AE) framework that directly optimizes for EEG conversion. Importantly, the latent representations are guided using contrastive learning to promote the latent splits to explicitly represent subject (style) and task (content). We contrast CSLP-AE to conventional supervised, unsupervised (AE), and self-supervised (contrastive learning) training and find that the proposed approach provides favorable generalizable characterizations of subject and task. Importantly, the procedure also enables zero-shot conversion between unseen subjects. While the present work only considers conversion of EEG, the proposed CSLP-AE provides a general framework for signal conversion and extraction of content (task activation) and style (subject variability) components of general interest for the modeling and analysis of biological signals.