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Neuroimage. 2012 Jan 2;59(1):439-55. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.07.048. Epub 2011 Jul 28.

DCM for complex-valued data: cross-spectra, coherence and phase-delays.

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The Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK.


This note describes an extension of Bayesian model inversion procedures for the Dynamic Causal Modeling (DCM) of complex-valued data. Modeling complex data can be particularly useful in the analysis of multivariate ergodic (stationary) time-series. We illustrate this with a generalization of DCM for steady-state responses that models both the real and imaginary parts of sample cross-spectra. DCM allows one to infer underlying biophysical parameters generating data (like synaptic time constants, connection strengths and conduction delays). Because transfer functions and complex cross-spectra can be generated from these parameters, one can also describe the implicit system architecture in terms of conventional (linear systems) measures; like coherence, phase-delay or cross-correlation functions. Crucially, these measures can be derived in both sensor and source-space. In other words, one can examine the cross-correlation or phase-delay functions between hidden neuronal sources using non-invasive data and relate these functions to synaptic parameters and neuronal conduction delays. We illustrate these points using local field potential recordings from the subthalamic nucleus and globus pallidus, with a special focus on the relationship between conduction delays and the ensuing phase relationships and cross-correlation time lags between population activities.

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