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Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2011;2011:5036-9. doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2011.6091247.

Statistical threshold for nonlinear Granger Causality in motor intention analysis.

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Biomedical Engineering Program, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA 71270, USA.


Directed influence between multiple channel signal measurements is important for the understanding of large dynamic systems. This research investigates a method to analyze large, complex multi-variable systems using directional flow measure to extract relevant information related to the functional connectivity between different units in the system. The directional flow measure was completed through nonlinear Granger Causality (GC) which is based on the nonlinear predictive models using radial basis functions (RBF). In order to extract relevant information from the causality map, we propose a threshold method that can be set up through a spatial statistical process where only the top 20% of causality pathways is shown. We applied this approach to a brain computer interface (BCI) application to decode the different intended arm reaching movement (left, right and forward) using 128 surface electroencephalography (EEG) electrodes. We also evaluated the importance of selecting the appropriate radius in the region of interest and found that the directions of causal influence of active brain regions were unique with respect to the intended direction.

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