BESA Source Coherence: A New Method to Study Cortical Oscillatory Coupling

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Abstract

Summary

This paper introduces source coherence, a new method for the analysis of cortical coherence using noninvasive EEG and MEG data. Brain electrical source analysis (BESA) is applied to create a discrete multiple source model. This model is used as a source montage to transform the recorded data from sensor level into brain source space. This provides source waveforms of the modeled brain regions as a direct measure for their activities on a single trial basis. The source waveforms are transformed into time-frequency space using complex demodulation. Magnitude-squared coherence between the brain sources reveals oscillatory coupling between sources. This procedure allows one to separate the time-frequency content of different brain regions even if their activities severely overlap at the surface. Thus, source coherence overcomes problems of localization and interpretation that are inherent to coherence analysis at sensor level. The principle of source coherence is illustrated using an EEG recording of an error-related negativity as an example. In this experiment the subject performed a visuo-motor task. Source coherence analysis revealed dynamical linking between posterior and central areas within the gamma-band around the time of button press at a post-stimulus latency of 200-300 ms.

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