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Hum Brain Mapp. 2019 Aug 9. doi: 10.1002/hbm.24754. [Epub ahead of print]

The effect of stimulation type, head modeling, and combined EEG and MEG on the source reconstruction of the somatosensory P20/N20 component.

Author information

Institute for Biomagnetism and Biosignalanalysis, University of Muenster, Muenster, Germany.
Donders Institute, Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands.
Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany.
Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Informatics, Technical University of Ilmenau, Ilmenau, Germany.
Otto Creutzfeldt Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Münster, Münster, Germany.


Modeling and experimental parameters influence the Electro- (EEG) and Magnetoencephalography (MEG) source analysis of the somatosensory P20/N20 component. In a sensitivity group study, we compare P20/N20 source analysis due to different stimulation type (Electric-Wrist [EW], Braille-Tactile [BT], or Pneumato-Tactile [PT]), measurement modality (combined EEG/MEG - EMEG, EEG, or MEG) and head model (standard or individually skull-conductivity calibrated including brain anisotropic conductivity). Considerable differences between pairs of stimulation types occurred (EW-BT: 8.7 ± 3.3 mm/27.1° ± 16.4°, BT-PT: 9 ± 5 mm/29.9° ± 17.3°, and EW-PT: 9.8 ± 7.4 mm/15.9° ± 16.5° and 75% strength reduction of BT or PT when compared to EW) regardless of the head model used. EMEG has nearly no localization differences to MEG, but large ones to EEG (16.1 ± 4.9 mm), while source orientation differences are non-negligible to both EEG (14° ± 3.7°) and MEG (12.5° ± 10.9°). Our calibration results show a considerable inter-subject variability (3.1-14 mS/m) for skull conductivity. The comparison due to different head model show localization differences smaller for EMEG (EW: 3.4 ± 2.4 mm, BT: 3.7 ± 3.4 mm, and PT: 5.9 ± 6.8 mm) than for EEG (EW: 8.6 ± 8.3 mm, BT: 11.8 ± 6.2 mm, and PT: 10.5 ± 5.3 mm), while source orientation differences for EMEG (EW: 15.4° ± 6.3°, BT: 25.7° ± 15.2° and PT: 14° ± 11.5°) and EEG (EW: 14.6° ± 9.5°, BT: 16.3° ± 11.1° and PT: 12.9° ± 8.9°) are in the same range. Our results show that stimulation type, modality and head modeling all have a non-negligible influence on the source reconstruction of the P20/N20 component. The complementary information of both modalities in EMEG can be exploited on the basis of detailed and individualized head models.


EEG; MEG; finite element method; multimodal imaging; somatosensory cortex; somatosensory evoked fields; somatosensory evoked potentials


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