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Front Hum Neurosci. 2011 Aug 24;5:76. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2011.00076. eCollection 2011.

A Parametric Empirical Bayesian Framework for the EEG/MEG Inverse Problem: Generative Models for Multi-Subject and Multi-Modal Integration.

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  • 1Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Medical Research Council Cambridge, UK.


We review recent methodological developments within a parametric empirical Bayesian (PEB) framework for reconstructing intracranial sources of extracranial electroencephalographic (EEG) and magnetoencephalographic (MEG) data under linear Gaussian assumptions. The PEB framework offers a natural way to integrate multiple constraints (spatial priors) on this inverse problem, such as those derived from different modalities (e.g., from functional magnetic resonance imaging, fMRI) or from multiple replications (e.g., subjects). Using variations of the same basic generative model, we illustrate the application of PEB to three cases: (1) symmetric integration (fusion) of MEG and EEG; (2) asymmetric integration of MEG or EEG with fMRI, and (3) group-optimization of spatial priors across subjects. We evaluate these applications on multi-modal data acquired from 18 subjects, focusing on energy induced by face perception within a time-frequency window of 100-220 ms, 8-18 Hz. We show the benefits of multi-modal, multi-subject integration in terms of the model evidence and the reproducibility (over subjects) of cortical responses to faces.


bioelectromagnetic signals; data fusion; neuroimaging; source reconstruction

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