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What Can Local Transfer Entropy Tell Us about Phase-Amplitude Coupling in Electrophysiological Signals?

  • Author(s): Martínez-Cancino, Ramón;
  • Delorme, Arnaud;
  • Wagner, Johanna;
  • Kreutz-Delgado, Kenneth;
  • Sotero, Roberto C;
  • Makeig, Scott
  • et al.

Published Web Location

https://doi.org/10.3390/e22111262
Abstract

Modulation of the amplitude of high-frequency cortical field activity locked to changes in the phase of a slower brain rhythm is known as phase-amplitude coupling (PAC). The study of this phenomenon has been gaining traction in neuroscience because of several reports on its appearance in normal and pathological brain processes in humans as well as across different mammalian species. This has led to the suggestion that PAC may be an intrinsic brain process that facilitates brain inter-area communication across different spatiotemporal scales. Several methods have been proposed to measure the PAC process, but few of these enable detailed study of its time course. It appears that no studies have reported details of PAC dynamics including its possible directional delay characteristic. Here, we study and characterize the use of a novel information theoretic measure that may address this limitation: local transfer entropy. We use both simulated and actual intracranial electroencephalographic data. In both cases, we observe initial indications that local transfer entropy can be used to detect the onset and offset of modulation process periods revealed by mutual information estimated phase-amplitude coupling (MIPAC). We review our results in the context of current theories about PAC in brain electrical activity, and discuss technical issues that must be addressed to see local transfer entropy more widely applied to PAC analysis. The current work sets the foundations for further use of local transfer entropy for estimating PAC process dynamics, and extends and complements our previous work on using local mutual information to compute PAC (MIPAC).

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