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Int J Neural Syst. 2015 May;25(3):1550010. doi: 10.1142/S0129065715500100. Epub 2015 Feb 26.

Classification of obsessive compulsive disorder by EEG complexity and hemispheric dependency measurements.

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Biomedical Engineering Department, Bahçeşehir University, Beşiktaş Istanbul 34353, Turkey.


In the present study, both single channel electroencephalography (EEG) complexity and two channel interhemispheric dependency measurements have newly been examined for classification of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and controls by using support vector machine classifiers. Three embedding entropy measurements (approximate entropy, sample entropy, permutation entropy (PermEn)) are used to estimate single channel EEG complexity for 19-channel eyes closed cortical measurements. Mean coherence and mutual information are examined to measure the level of interhemispheric dependency in frequency and statistical domain, respectively for eight distinct electrode pairs placed on the scalp with respect to the international 10-20 electrode placement system. All methods are applied to short EEG segments of 2 s. The classification performance is measured 20 times with different 2-fold cross-validation data for both single channel complexity features (19 features) and interhemispheric dependency features (eight features). The highest classification accuracy of 85 ±5.2% is provided by PermEn at prefrontal regions of the brain. Even if the classification success do not provided by other methods as high as PermEn, the clear differences between patients and controls at prefrontal regions can also be obtained by using other methods except coherence. In conclusion, OCD, defined as illness of orbitofronto-striatal structures [Beucke et al., JAMA Psychiatry70 (2013) 619-629; Cavedini et al., Psychiatry Res.78 (1998) 21-28; Menzies et al., Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev.32(3) (2008) 525-549], is caused by functional abnormalities in the pre-frontal regions. Particularly, patients are characterized by lower EEG complexity at both pre-frontal regions and right fronto-temporal locations. Our results are compatible with imaging studies that define OCD as a sub group of anxiety disorders exhibited a decreased complexity (such as anorexia nervosa [Toth et al., Int. J. Psychophysiol.51(3) (2004) 253-260] and panic disorder [Bob et al., Physiol. Res.55 (2006) S113-S119]).


Approximate entropy; SVM; mutual information; permutation entropy; sample entropy

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