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Can Brain Signals Reveal Inner Alignment with Human Languages?
Jielin Qiu · William Han · Jiacheng Zhu · Mengdi Xu · Douglas Weber · Bo Li · Ding Zhao

Sat Jul 29 06:30 PM -- 06:40 PM (PDT) @

Brain Signals, such as Electroencephalography (EEG), and human languages have been widely explored independently for many downstream tasks, however, the connection between them has not been well explored. In this study, we explore the relationship and dependency between EEG and language. To study at the representation level, we introduced \textbf{MTAM}, a \textbf{M}ultimodal \textbf{T}ransformer \textbf{A}lignment \textbf{M}odel, to observe coordinated representations between the two modalities. We used various relationship alignment-seeking techniques, such as Canonical Correlation Analysis and Wasserstein Distance, as loss functions to transfigure features. On downstream applications, sentiment analysis and relation detection, we achieved new state-of-the-art results on two datasets, ZuCo and K-EmoCon. Our method achieved an F1-score improvement of 16.5\% on K-EmoCon and 27\% on Zuco datasets for sentiment analysis, and 31.1\% on ZuCo for relation detection. In addition, we provide interpretations of the performance improvement: (1) feature distribution shows the effectiveness of the alignment module for discovering and encoding the relationship between EEG and language; (2) alignment weights show the influence of different language semantics as well as EEG frequency features; (3) brain topographical maps provide an intuitive demonstration of the connectivity in the brain regions. Our anonymous code is available at \url{https://anonymous.4open.science/r/ICML-109F/}.

Author Information

Jielin Qiu (Carnegie Mellon University)
William Han (Carnegie Mellon University; Safe AI Lab)
Jiacheng Zhu (Carnegie Mellon University)
Mengdi Xu (Carnegie Mellon University)
Douglas Weber (Carnegie Mellon University)
Bo Li (UIUC)
Bo Li

Dr. Bo Li is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. She is the recipient of the IJCAI Computers and Thought Award, Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, AI’s 10 to Watch, NSF CAREER Award, MIT Technology Review TR-35 Award, Dean's Award for Excellence in Research, C.W. Gear Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, Intel Rising Star award, Symantec Research Labs Fellowship, Rising Star Award, Research Awards from Tech companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Intel, IBM, and eBay, and best paper awards at several top machine learning and security conferences. Her research focuses on both theoretical and practical aspects of trustworthy machine learning, which is at the intersection of machine learning, security, privacy, and game theory. She has designed several scalable frameworks for trustworthy machine learning and privacy-preserving data publishing. Her work has been featured by major publications and media outlets such as Nature, Wired, Fortune, and New York Times.

Ding Zhao (Carnegie Mellon University)

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