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  1. Multimodal data fusion is one of the current primary neuroimaging research directions to overcome the fundamental limitations of individual modalities by exploiting complementary information from different modalities. Electroencephalography (EEG) and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) are especially compelling modalities due to their potentially complementary features reflecting the electro-hemodynamic characteristics of neural responses. However, the current multimodal studies lack a comprehensive systematic approach to properly merge the complementary features from their multimodal data. Identifying a systematic approach to properly fuse EEG-fNIRS data and exploit their complementary potential is crucial in improving performance. This paper proposes a framework for classifying fused EEG-fNIRS data at the feature level, relying on a mutual information-based feature selection approach with respect to the complementarity between features. The goal is to optimize the complementarity, redundancy and relevance between multimodal features with respect to the class labels as belonging to a pathological condition or healthy control. Nine amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients and nine controls underwent multimodal data recording during a visuo-mental task. Multiple spectral and temporal features were extracted and fed to a feature selection algorithm followed by a classifier, which selected the optimized subset of features through a cross-validation process. The results demonstrated considerably improved hybrid classification performance compared to the individual modalities and compared to conventional classification without feature selection, suggesting a potential efficacy of our proposed framework for wider neuro-clinical applications.

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  2. null (Ed.)