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Toward a direct measure of video quality perception using EEG

: Scholler, S.; Bosse, S.; Treder, M.S.; Blankertz, B.; Curio, G.; Müller, K.-R.; Wiegand, T.


IEEE transactions on image processing 21 (2012), Nr.5, S.2619-2629
ISSN: 1057-7149
ISSN: 1941-0042
Fraunhofer HHI ()

An approach to the direct measurement of perception of video quality change using electroencephalography (EEG) is presented. Subjects viewed 8-s video clips while their brain activity was registered using EEG. The video signal was either uncompressed at full length or changed from uncompressed to a lower quality level at a random time point. The distortions were introduced by a hybrid video codec. Subjects had to indicate whether they had perceived a quality change. In response to a quality change, a positive voltage change in EEG (the so-called P3 component) was observed at latency of about 400-600 ms for all subjects. The voltage change positively correlated with the magnitude of the video quality change, substantiating the P3 component as a graded neural index of the perception of video quality change within the presented paradigm. By applying machine learning techniques, we could classify on a single-trial basis whether a subject perceived a quality change. Interest ingly, some video clips wherein changes were missed (i.e., not reported) by the subject were classified as quality changes, suggesting that the brain detected a change, although the subject did not press a button. In conclusion, abrupt changes of video quality give rise to specific components in the EEG that can be detected on a single-trial basis. Potentially, a neurotechnological approach to video assessment could lead to a more objective quantification of quality change detection, overcoming the limitations of subjective approaches (such as subjective bias and the requirement of an overt response). Furthermore, it allows for real-time applications wherein the brain response to a video clip is monitored while it is being viewed.