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      Dynamic imaging of coherent sources: Studying neural interactions in the human brain

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          Abstract

          Functional connectivity between cortical areas may appear as correlated time behavior of neural activity. It has been suggested that merging of separate features into a single percept (“binding”) is associated with coherent gamma band activity across the cortical areas involved. Therefore, it would be of utmost interest to image cortico-cortical coherence in the working human brain. The frequency specificity and transient nature of these interactions requires time-sensitive tools such as magneto- or electroencephalography (MEG/EEG). Coherence between signals of sensors covering different scalp areas is commonly taken as a measure of functional coupling. However, this approach provides vague information on the actual cortical areas involved, owing to the complex relation between the active brain areas and the sensor recordings. We propose a solution to the crucial issue of proceeding beyond the MEG sensor level to estimate coherences between cortical areas. Dynamic imaging of coherent sources (DICS) uses a spatial filter to localize coherent brain regions and provides the time courses of their activity. Reference points for the computation of neural coupling may be based on brain areas of maximum power or other physiologically meaningful information, or they may be estimated starting from sensor coherences. The performance of DICS is evaluated with simulated data and illustrated with recordings of spontaneous activity in a healthy subject and a parkinsonian patient. Methods for estimating functional connectivities between brain areas will facilitate characterization of cortical networks involved in sensory, motor, or cognitive tasks and will allow investigation of pathological connectivities in neurological disorders.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                0027-8424
                1091-6490
                January 16 2001
                January 16 2001
                January 16 2001
                : 98
                : 2
                : 694-699
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Neurology, Heinrich-Heine-University, Moorenstrasse 5, D-40225 Duesseldorf, Germany; and Brain Research Unit, Low Temperature Laboratory, Helsinki University of Technology, FIN-02015 HUT, Espoo, Finland
                Article
                10.1073/pnas.98.2.694
                14650
                11209067
                3d6d3875-febb-4d4a-9f6d-4dc7e4b48603
                © 2001
                History

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