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Med Eng Phys. 2011 May;33(4):504-12. doi: 10.1016/j.medengphy.2010.12.003. Epub 2011 Jan 8.

k-Nearest neighbour local linear prediction of scalp EEG activity during intermittent photic stimulation.

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Department of Physics, University of Trento, Trento, Italy.


The characterization of the EEG response to photic stimulation (PS) is an important issue with significant clinical relevance. This study aims to quantify and map the complexity of the EEG during PS, where complexity is measured as the degree of unpredictability resulting from local linear prediction. EEG activity was recorded with eyes closed (EC) and eyes open (EO) during resting and PS at 5, 10, and 15 Hz in a group of 30 healthy subjects and in a case-report of a patient suffering from cerebral ischemia. The mean squared prediction error (MSPE) resulting from k-nearest neighbour local linear prediction was calculated in each condition as an index of EEG unpredictability. The linear or nonlinear nature of the system underlying EEG activity was evaluated quantifying MSPE as a function of the neighbourhood size during local linear prediction, and by surrogate data analysis as well. Unpredictability maps were obtained for each subject interpolating MSPE values over a schematic head representation. Results on healthy subjects evidenced: (i) the prevalence of linear mechanisms in the generation of EEG dynamics, (ii) the lower predictability of EO EEG, (iii) the desynchronization of oscillatory mechanisms during PS leading to increased EEG complexity, (iv) the entrainment of alpha rhythm during EC obtained by 10 Hz PS, and (v) differences of EEG predictability among different scalp regions. Ischemic patient showed different MSPE values in healthy and damaged regions. The EEG predictability decreased moving from the early acute stage to a stage of partial recovery. These results suggest that nonlinear prediction can be a useful tool to characterize EEG dynamics during PS protocols, and may consequently constitute a complement of quantitative EEG analysis in clinical applications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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