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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Quantification of Electrophysiological Dynamics in Human Neocortex during Passive BCI

  • Author(s): Courellis, Hristos
  • Advisor(s): Cauwenberghs, Gert
  • et al.
Abstract

Quantification of dynamic causal interactions among brain regions constitutes an important component of conducting research and developing applications in experimental and translational neuroscience. Furthermore, cortical networks with dynamic causal connectivity in brain-computer interface (BCI) applications offer a more comprehensive view of brain states implicated in behavior than do individual brain regions. However, models of cortical network dynamics are difficult to generalize across subjects because current EEG signal analysis techniques are limited in their ability to reliably localize sources across subjects. We propose an algorithmic and computational framework for identifying cortical networks across subjects in which dynamic causal connectivity is modeled among user-selected cortical regions of interest (ROIs). We demonstrate the strength of the proposed framework using a “reach/saccade to spatial target” cognitive task performed by ten right-handed individuals. Modeling of causal cortical interactions was accomplished through measurement of cortical activity using electroencephalography (EEG), application of independent component clustering to identify cortical ROIs as network nodes, estimation of cortical current density using cortically constrained low resolution electromagnetic brain tomography (cLORETA), multivariate autoregressive (MVAR) modeling of representative cortical activity signals from each ROI, and quantification of the dynamic causal interaction among the identified ROIs using the Short-time direct Directed Transfer function (SdDTF). The resulting cortical network and the computed causal dynamics among its nodes exhibited physiologically plausible behavior, consistent with past results reported in the literature. This physiological plausibility of the results strengthens the framework’s applicability in reliably capturing complex brain functionality, which is required by applications such as diagnostics and BCI.

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