A Systematic Review for Human EEG Brain Signals Based Emotion Classification, Feature Extraction, Brain Condition, Group Comparison

J Med Syst. 2018 Jul 24;42(9):162. doi: 10.1007/s10916-018-1020-8.


The study of electroencephalography (EEG) signals is not a new topic. However, the analysis of human emotions upon exposure to music considered as important direction. Although distributed in various academic databases, research on this concept is limited. To extend research in this area, the researchers explored and analysed the academic articles published within the mentioned scope. Thus, in this paper a systematic review is carried out to map and draw the research scenery for EEG human emotion into a taxonomy. Systematically searched all articles about the, EEG human emotion based music in three main databases: ScienceDirect, Web of Science and IEEE Xplore from 1999 to 2016. These databases feature academic studies that used EEG to measure brain signals, with a focus on the effects of music on human emotions. The screening and filtering of articles were performed in three iterations. In the first iteration, duplicate articles were excluded. In the second iteration, the articles were filtered according to their titles and abstracts, and articles outside of the scope of our domain were excluded. In the third iteration, the articles were filtered by reading the full text and excluding articles outside of the scope of our domain and which do not meet our criteria. Based on inclusion and exclusion criteria, 100 articles were selected and separated into five classes. The first class includes 39 articles (39%) consists of emotion, wherein various emotions are classified using artificial intelligence (AI). The second class includes 21 articles (21%) is composed of studies that use EEG techniques. This class is named 'brain condition'. The third class includes eight articles (8%) is related to feature extraction, which is a step before emotion classification. That this process makes use of classifiers should be noted. However, these articles are not listed under the first class because these eight articles focus on feature extraction rather than classifier accuracy. The fourth class includes 26 articles (26%) comprises studies that compare between or among two or more groups to identify and discover human emotion-based EEG. The final class includes six articles (6%) represents articles that study music as a stimulus and its impact on brain signals. Then, discussed the five main categories which are action types, age of the participants, and number size of the participants, duration of recording and listening to music and lastly countries or authors' nationality that published these previous studies. it afterward recognizes the main characteristics of this promising area of science in: motivation of using EEG process for measuring human brain signals, open challenges obstructing employment and recommendations to improve the utilization of EEG process.

Keywords: Brain signals; EEG; Emotion classification; Feature extraction.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Artificial Intelligence*
  • Brain / physiology
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Emotions / classification*
  • Humans