Neural networks, inspired by the organizational principles of the human brain, have recently been used in various fields of application such as pattern recognition, identification, classification, speech, vision, signal processing, and control systems. In this study, a two-layered neural network has been trained for the recognition of temporal patterns of the electroencephalogram (EEG). This network is called a Learning Vector Quantization (LVQ) neural network since it learns the characteristics of the signal presented to it as a vector. The first layer is a competitive layer which learns to classify the input vectors. The second, linear, layer transforms the output of the competitive layer to target classes defined by the user. We have tested and evaluated the LVQ network. The network successfully detects epileptiform discharges (EDs) when trained using EEG records scored by a neurologist. Epochs of EEG containing EDs from one subject have been used for training the network, and EEGs of other subjects have been used for testing the network. The results demonstrate that the LVQ detector can generalize the learning to previously 'unseen' records of subjects. This study shows that the EVQ network offers a practical solution for ED detection which is easily adjusted to an individual neurologist's style and is as sensitive and specific as an expert visual analysis.
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