A framework for rapid visual image search using single-trial brain evoked responses

Yonghong Huang, Deniz Erdogmus, Misha Pavel, Santosh Mathan, Kenneth E. Hild

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


We report the design and performance of a brain computer interface for single-trial detection of viewed images based on human dynamic brain response signatures in 32-channel electroencephalography (EEG) acquired during a rapid serial visual presentation. The system explores the feasibility of speeding up image analysis by tapping into split-second perceptual judgments of humans. We present an incremental learning system with less memory storage and computational cost for single-trial event-related potential (ERP) detection, which is trained using cross-session data. We demonstrate the efficacy of the method on the task of target image detection. We apply linear and nonlinear support vector machines (SVMs) and a linear logistic classifier (LLC) for single-trial ERP detection using data collected from image analysts and naive subjects. For our data the detection performance of the nonlinear SVM is better than the linear SVM and the LLC. We also show that our ERP-based target detection system is five-fold faster than the traditional image viewing paradigm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2041-2051
Number of pages11
Issue number12-13
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain computer interface (BCI)
  • Electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Image retrieval
  • Incremental learning
  • Single-trial event-related potential (ERP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Artificial Intelligence


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