Estimation of single-trial multicomponent ERPs: Differentially variable component analysis (dVCA)

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A Bayesian inference framework for estimating the parameters of single-trial, multicomponent, event-related potentials is presented. Single-trial recordings are modeled as the linear combination of ongoing activity and multicomponent waveforms that are relatively phase-locked to certain sensory or motor events. Each component is assumed to have a trial-invariant waveform with trial-dependent amplitude scaling factors and latency shifts. A Maximum a Posteriori solution of this model is implemented via an iterative algorithm from which the component's waveform, single-trial amplitude scaling factors and latency shifts are estimated. Multiple components can be derived from a single-channel recording based on their differential variability, an aspect in contrast with other component analysis techniques (e.g., independent component analysis) where the number of components estimated is equal to or smaller than the number of recording channels. Furthermore, we show that, by subtracting out the estimated single-trial components from each of the single-trial recordings, one can estimate the ongoing activity, thus providing additional information concerning task-related brain dynamics. We test this approach, which we name differentially variable component analysis (dVCA), on simulated data and apply it to an experimental dataset consisting of intracortically recorded local field potentials from monkeys performing a visuomotor pattern discrimination task.

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