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Biomed Eng Online. 2009 May 4;8:9. doi: 10.1186/1475-925X-8-9.

A novel segmentation, mutual information network framework for EEG analysis of motor tasks.

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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.



Monitoring the functional connectivity between brain regions is becoming increasingly important in elucidating brain functionality in normal and disease states. Current methods of detecting networks in the recorded electroencephalogram (EEG) such as correlation and coherence are limited by the fact that they assume stationarity of the relationship between channels, and rely on linear dependencies. In contrast to diseases of the brain cortex (e.g. Alzheimer's disease), with motor disorders such as Parkinson's disease (PD) the EEG abnormalities are most apparent during performance of dynamic motor tasks, but this makes the stationarity assumption untenable.


We therefore propose a novel EEG segmentation method based on the temporal dynamics of the cross-spectrogram of the computed Independent Components (ICs). We then utilize mutual information (MI) as the metric for determining also nonlinear statistical dependencies between EEG channels. Graphical theoretical analysis is then applied to the derived MI networks. The method was applied to EEG data recorded from six normal subjects and seven PD subjects off medication. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) tests demonstrated statistically significant difference in the connectivity patterns between groups.


The results suggested that PD subjects are unable to independently recruit different areas of the brain while performing simultaneous tasks compared to individual tasks, but instead they attempt to recruit disparate clusters of synchronous activity to maintain behavioral performance.


The proposed segmentation/MI network method appears to be a promising approach for analyzing the EEG recorded during dynamic behaviors.

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