Fractal-based classification of electroencephalography (EEG) signals in healthy adolescents and adolescents with symptoms of schizophrenia

Technol Health Care. 2019;27(3):233-241. doi: 10.3233/THC-181497.


Brain activity analysis is an important research area in the field of human neuroscience. Moreover, a subcategory in this field is the classification of brain activity in terms of different brain disorders. Since the Electroencephalography (EEG) signal is, in fact, a non-linear time series, employing techniques to investigate its non-linear structure is rather crucial. In this study, we evaluate the non-linear structure of the EEG signal between healthy and schizophrenic adolescents using fractal theory. The results of our analysis revealed that in terms of all recording channels, the EEG signal of healthy subjects is more complex compared to the ones suffering from schizophrenia. The statistical analysis also indicated that there is a significant difference in the complex structure of the EEG signal between these two groups of subjects. We also utilized approximate entropy in our analysis in order to verify the obtained results of the fractal analysis. The result of the entropy analysis suggested that EEG signal for healthy subjects is less random compared to the EEG signal in schizophrenic individuals. In addition, the employed methodology in this research can be further investigated in order to classify the brain activity in terms of other brain disorders, where one can explore how the complex structure of the EEG signal alters between them.

Keywords: Electroencephalography (EEG) signal; approximate entropy; complex; fractal; random; schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Female
  • Fractals*
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis*
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology*