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J Neural Eng. 2016 Feb;13(1):016005. doi: 10.1088/1741-2560/13/1/016005. Epub 2015 Dec 8.

Source-space ICA for MEG source imaging.

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Department of Physics, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand Brain Research Institute, Christchurch, New Zealand.



One of the most widely used approaches in electroencephalography/magnetoencephalography (MEG) source imaging is application of an inverse technique (such as dipole modelling or sLORETA) on the component extracted by independent component analysis (ICA) (sensor-space ICA + inverse technique). The advantage of this approach over an inverse technique alone is that it can identify and localize multiple concurrent sources. Among inverse techniques, the minimum-variance beamformers offer a high spatial resolution. However, in order to have both high spatial resolution of beamformer and be able to take on multiple concurrent sources, sensor-space ICA + beamformer is not an ideal combination.


We propose source-space ICA for MEG as a powerful alternative approach which can provide the high spatial resolution of the beamformer and handle multiple concurrent sources. The concept of source-space ICA for MEG is to apply the beamformer first and then singular value decomposition + ICA. In this paper we have compared source-space ICA with sensor-space ICA both in simulation and real MEG. The simulations included two challenging scenarios of correlated/concurrent cluster sources.


Source-space ICA provided superior performance in spatial reconstruction of source maps, even though both techniques performed equally from a temporal perspective. Real MEG from two healthy subjects with visual stimuli were also used to compare performance of sensor-space ICA and source-space ICA. We have also proposed a new variant of minimum-variance beamformer called weight-normalized linearly-constrained minimum-variance with orthonormal lead-field.


As sensor-space ICA-based source reconstruction is popular in EEG and MEG imaging, and given that source-space ICA has superior spatial performance, it is expected that source-space ICA will supersede its predecessor in many applications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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