Electrophysiology recordings are frequently affected by artifacts (e.g., subject motion or eye movements), which reduces the number of available trials and affects the statistical power. When artifacts are unavoidable and data are scarce, signal reconstruction algorithms that allow for the retention of sufficient trials become crucial. Here, we present one such algorithm that makes use of large spatiotemporal correlations in neural signals and solves the low-rank matrix completion problem, to fix artifactual entries. The method uses a gradient descent algorithm in lower dimensions to learn the missing entries and provide faithful reconstruction of signals. We carried out numerical simulations to benchmark the method and estimate optimal hyperparameters for actual EEG data. The fidelity of reconstruction was assessed by detecting event-related potentials (ERP) from a highly artifacted EEG time series from human infants. The proposed method significantly improved the standardized error of the mean in ERP group analysis and a between-trial variability analysis compared to a state-of-the-art interpolation technique. This improvement increased the statistical power and revealed significant effects that would have been deemed insignificant without reconstruction. The method can be applied to any time-continuous neural signal where artifacts are sparse and spread out across epochs and channels, increasing data retention and statistical power.
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