Source stability index: A novel beamforming based localisation metric

Mark Hymers, Garreth Prendergast, Sam R. Johnson, Gary G R Green

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Many experimental studies into human brain function now use magnetoencephalography (MEG) to non-invasively investigate human neuronal activity. A number of different analysis techniques use the observed magnetic fields outside of the head to estimate the location and strength of the underlying neural generators. One such technique, a spatial filtering method known as Beamforming, produces whole-head volumetric images of activation. Typically, a differential power map throughout the head is generated between a time window containing the response to a stimulus of interest and a window containing background brain activity. A statistical test is normally performed to reveal locations which show a significantly different response in the presence of the stimulus. Despite this being a widely used measure, for both phase-locked and non-phase-locked information, it requires a number of assumptions; namely that the baseline activity defined is stable and also that a change in total power is the most effective way of revealing the neuronal sources required for the task. This paper introduces a metric which evaluates the consistency of the response at each location within a cortical volume. Such a method of localisation negates the need for a baseline period of activity to be defined and also moves away from simply considering the energy content of brain activity. The paper presents both simulated and real data. It demonstrates that this new metric of stability is able to more accurately and, crucially, more reliably draw inferences about neuronal sources of interest. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1385-1397
    Number of pages12
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2010


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