This story is from the category The Brain
Date posted: 21/01/2009
A new "colorimetric technique" developed by researchers at Florida Atlantic University allows four dimensional mapping of neurological data using EEG signals inside a living brain.
Drs. Emmanuelle Tognoli, an expert in neurophysiology and research assistant professor in the Centre's Human Brain and Behaviour Laboratory, and J. A. Scott Kelso, the Glenwood and Martha Creech Eminent Scholar in Science and founder of the Centre for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science are responsible for the research.
"A lot of emphasis in neuroscience these days is on what the parts do," said Kelso. "But understanding the coordination of multiple parts in a complex system such as the brain is a fundamental challenge. Using our approach, key predictions of cortical coordination dynamics can now be tested, thereby revealing the essential modus operandi of the intact living brain."
Tognoli and Kelso developed a novel colorimetric technique that simultaneously maps four dimensions of brain data (magnitude, 2D of cortical surface and time) in order to capture true synchronization in electroencephalographic (EEG) signals. Because of the fourth dimension afforded by this colourimetric method, it is possible to observe and interpret oscillatory activity of the entire brain as it evolves in time, millisecond by millisecond. Moreover, the authors' method applies to continuous non-averaged EEG data thereby de-emphasizing the notion of "an average brain."
The authors demonstrate that only in continuous EEG can real synchronization be sorted from false synchronization - a kind of synchronization that arises from the spread of electrical fields and volume conduction rather than from genuine interactions between brain areas.
Most of the time, activity from multiple brain areas look coordinated; however, in actuality, there is far less synchrony than what appears to be. With the support of mathematical models that reproduce the biases of real brain records in synthetic data, the authors show how to tell apart real and false episodes of synchronization. For the first time, true episodes of brain coordination can be spotted directly in EEG records and carefully analyzed.
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