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  • Parviainen, Tiina; Helenius, Päivi; Salmelin, Riitta (2019)
    Auditory cortex in each hemisphere shows preference to sounds from the opposite hemifield in the auditory space. Besides this contralateral dominance, the auditory cortex shows functional and structural lateralization, presumably influencing the features of subsequent auditory processing. Children have been shown to differ from adults in the hemispheric balance of activation in higher-order auditory based tasks. We studied, first, whether the contralateral dominance can be detected in 7- to 8-year-old children and, second, whether the response properties of auditory cortex in children differ between hemispheres. Magnetoencephalography (MEG) responses to simple tones revealed adult-like contralateral preference that was, however, extended in time in children. Moreover, we found stronger emphasis towards mature response properties in the right than left hemisphere, pointing to faster maturation of the right-hemisphere auditory cortex. The activation strength of the child-typical prolonged response was significantly decreased with age, within the narrow age-range of the studied child population. Our results demonstrate that although the spatial sensitivity to the opposite hemifield has emerged by 7 years of age, the population-level neurophysiological response shows salient immature features, manifested particularly in the left hemisphere. The observed functional differences between hemispheres may influence higher-level processing stages, for example, in language function.
  • Jaiswal, Amit; Nenonen, Jukka; Stenroos, Matti; Gramfort, Alexandre; Dalal, Sarang S.; Westner, Britta U.; Litvak, Vladimir; Mosher, John C.; Schoffelen, Jan-Mathijs; Witton, Caroline; Oostenveld, Robert; Parkkonen, Lauri (2020)
    Beamformers are applied for estimating spatiotemporal characteristics of neuronal sources underlying measured MEG/EEG signals. Several MEG analysis toolboxes include an implementation of a linearly constrained minimum-variance (LCMV) beamformer. However, differences in implementations and in their results complicate the selection and application of beamformers and may hinder their wider adoption in research and clinical use. Additionally, combinations of different MEG sensor types (such as magnetometers and planar gradiometers) and application of preprocessing methods for interference suppression, such as signal space separation (SSS), can affect the results in different ways for different implementations. So far, a systematic evaluation of the different implementations has not been performed. Here, we compared the localization performance of the LCMV beamformer pipelines in four widely used open-source toolboxes (MNE-Python, FieldTrip, DAiSS (SPM12), and Brainstorm) using datasets both with and without SSS interference suppression. We analyzed MEG data that were i) simulated, ii) recorded from a static and moving phantom, and iii) recorded from a healthy volunteer receiving auditory, visual, and somatosensory stimulation. We also investigated the effects of SSS and the combination of the magnetometer and gradiometer signals. We quantified how localization error and point-spread volume vary with the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in all four toolboxes. When applied carefully to MEG data with a typical SNR (3-15 dB), all four toolboxes localized the sources reliably; however, they differed in their sensitivity to preprocessing parameters. As expected, localizations were highly unreliable at very low SNR, but we found high localization error also at very high SNRs for the first three toolboxes while Brainstorm showed greater robustness but with lower spatial resolution. We also found that the SNR improvement offered by SSS led to more accurate localization.
  • Kostilainen, Kaisamari; Wikstrom, Valtteri; Pakarinen, Satu; Videman, Mari; Karlsson, Linnea; Keskinen, Maria; Scheinin, Noora M.; Karlsson, Hasse; Huotilainen, Minna (2018)
    We evaluated the feasibility of a multi-feature mismatch negativity (MMN) paradigm in studying auditory processing of healthy newborns. The aim was to examine the automatic change-detection and processing of semantic and emotional information in speech in newborns. Brain responses of 202 healthy newborns were recorded with a multi-feature paradigm including a Finnish bi-syllabic pseudo-word/ta-ta/as a standard stimulus, six linguistically relevant deviant stimuli and three emotionally relevant stimuli (happy, sad, angry). Clear responses to emotional sounds were found already at the early latency window 100-200 ms, whereas responses to linguistically relevant minor changes and emotional stimuli at the later latency window 300-500 ms did not reach significance. Moreover, significant interaction between gender and emotional stimuli was found in the early latency window. Further studies on using multi-feature paradigms with linguistic and emotional stimuli in newborns are needed, especially those containing of follow-ups, enabling the assessment of the predictive value of early variations between subjects.
  • Hakala, Tero; Hulten, Annika; Lehtonen, Minna; Lagus, Krista; Salmelin, Riitta (2018)
    Neuroimaging studies of the reading process point to functionally distinct stages in word recognition. Yet, current understanding of the operations linked to those various stages is mainly descriptive in nature. Approaches developed in the field of computational linguistics may offer a more quantitative approach for understanding brain dynamics. Our aim was to evaluate whether a statistical model of morphology, with well-defined computational principles, can capture the neural dynamics of reading, using the concept of surprisal from information theory as the common measure. The Morfessor model, created for unsupervised discovery of morphemes, is based on the minimum description length principle and attempts to find optimal units of representation for complex words. In a word recognition task, we correlated brain responses to word surprisal values derived from Morfessor and from other psycholinguistic variables that have been linked with various levels of linguistic abstraction. The magnetoencephalography data analysis focused on spatially, temporally and functionally distinct components of cortical activation observed in reading tasks. The early occipital and occipito-temporal responses were correlated with parameters relating to visual complexity and orthographic properties, whereas the later bilateral superior temporal activation was correlated with whole-word based and morphological models. The results show that the word processing costs estimated by the statistical Morfessor model are relevant for brain dynamics of reading during late processing stages.
  • Deng, Youjun; Liu, Hongyu; Uhlmann, Gunther (2019)
    We consider the inverse problem of recovering both an unknown electric current and the surrounding electromagnetic parameters of a medium from boundary measurements. This inverse problem arises in brain imaging. We show that under generic conditions one can recover both the source and the electromagnetic parameters if these are piecewise constant and the source current is invariant in a fixed direction or a harmonic function, respectively. (C) 2019 Published by Elsevier Inc.
  • Lönnberg, Piia; Pihko, Elina; Lauronen, Leena; Nurminen, Jussi; Andersson, Sture; Metsäranta, Marjo; Lano, Aulikki; Nevalainen, Päivi (2021)
    Objective: We assessed in extremely preterm born (EPB) children whether secondary somatosensory cor-tex (SII) responses recorded with magnetoencephalography (MEG) at term-equivalent age (TEA) correlate with neurodevelopmental outcome at age 6 years. Secondly, we assessed whether SII responses differ between 6-year-old EPB and term-born (TB) children. Methods: 39 EPB children underwent MEG with tactile stimulation at TEA. At age 6 years, 32 EPB and 26 TB children underwent MEG including a sensorimotor task requiring attention and motor inhibition. SII responses to tactile stimulation were modeled with equivalent current dipoles. Neurological outcome, motor competence, and general cognitive ability were prospectively evaluated at age 6 years. Results: Unilaterally absent SII response at TEA was associated with abnormal motor competence in 6-year-old EPB children (p = 0.03). At age 6 years, SII responses were bilaterally detectable in most EPB (88%) and TB (92%) children (group comparison, p = 0.69). Motor inhibition was associated with decreased SII peak latencies in TB children, but EPB children lacked this effect (p = 0.02). Conclusions: Unilateral absence of an SII response at TEA predicted poorer motor outcome in EPB children. Significance: Neurophysiological methods may provide new means for outcome prognostication in EPB children. (c) 2021 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
  • Luoma, Jarkko; Pekkonen, Eero; Airaksinen, Katja; Helle, Liisa; Nurminen, Jussi; Taulu, Samu; Mäkelä, Jyrki P. (2018)
    Advanced Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by an excessive oscillatory beta band activity in the sub thalamic nucleus (STN). Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of STN alleviates motor symptoms in PD and suppresses the STN beta band activity. The effect of DBS on cortical sensorimotor activity is more ambiguous; both increases and decreases of beta band activity have been reported. Non-invasive studies with simultaneous DBS are problematic due to DBS-induced artifacts. We recorded magnetoencephalography (MEG) from 16 advanced PD patients with and without STN DBS during rest and wrist extension. The strong magnetic artifacts related to stimulation were removed by temporal signal space separation. MEG oscillatory activity at 5-25 Hz was suppressed during DBS in a widespread frontoparietal region, including the sensorimotor cortex identified by the cortico-muscular coherence. The strength of suppression did not correlate with clinical improvement. Our results indicate that alpha and beta band oscillations are suppressed at the frontoparietal cortex by STN DBS in PD.
  • Kaltiainen, Hanna; Helle, Liisa; Liljeström, Mia; Renvall, Hanna; Forss, Nina (2018)
    Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) patients continue to pose a diagnostic challenge due to their diverse symptoms without trauma-specific changes in structural imaging. We addressed here the possible early changes in spontaneous oscillatory brain activity after mTBI, and their feasibility as an indicator of injury in clinical evaluation. We recorded resting-state magnetoencephalography (MEG) data in both eyes-open and eyes-closed conditions from 26 patients (11 females and 15 males, aged 20-59) with mTBI 6days-6months after the injury, and compared their spontaneous oscillatory activity to corresponding data from 139 healthy controls. Twelve of the patients underwent a follow-up measurement at 6months. Ten of all patients were without structural lesions in MRI. At single-subject level, aberrant 4-7Hz (theta) band activity exceeding the +2 SD limit of the healthy subjects was visible in 7 out of 26 patients; three out of the seven patients with abnormal theta activity were without any detectable lesions in MRI. Of the patients that participated in the follow-up measurements, five showed abnormal theta activity in the first recording, but only two in the second measurement. Our results suggest that aberrant theta-band oscillatory activity can provide an early objective sign of brain dysfunction after mTBI. In 3/7 patients, the slow-wave activity was transient and visible only in the first recording, urging prompt timing for the measurements in clinical settings.
  • Mäkelä, Niko; Stenroos, Matti; Sarvas, Jukka; Ilmoniemi, Risto J. (2018)
    Electrically active brain regions can be located applying MUltiple SIgnal Classification (MUSIC) on magneto-or electroencephalographic (MEG; EEG) data. We introduce a new MUSIC method, called truncated recursively-applied-and-projected MUSIC (TRAP-MUSIC). It corrects a hidden deficiency of the conventional RAP-MUSIC algorithm, which prevents estimation of the true number of brain-signal sources accurately. The correction is done by applying a sequential dimension reduction to the signal-subspace projection. We show that TRAP-MUSIC significantly improves the performance of MUSIC-type localization; in particular, it successfully and robustly locates active brain regions and estimates their number. We compare TRAP-MUSIC and RAP-MUSIC in simulations with varying key parameters, e.g., signal-to-noise ratio, correlation between source time-courses, and initial estimate for the dimension of the signal space. In addition, we validate TRAP-MUSIC with measured MEG data. We suggest that with the proposed TRAP-MUSIC method, MUSIC-type localization could become more reliable and suitable for various online and offline MEG and EEG applications.
  • Ahonen, L.; Huotilainen, M.; Brattico, E. (2016)
    In the vast majority of electrophysiological studies on cognition, participants are only measured once during a single experimental session. The dearth of studies on test-retest reliability in magnetoencephalography (MEG) within and across experimental sessions is a preventing factor for longitudinal designs, imaging genetics studies, and clinical applications. From the recorded signals, it is not straightforward to draw robust and steady indices of brain activity that could directly be used in exploring behavioral effects or genetic associations. To study the variations in markers associated with cognitive functions, we extracted three event-related field (ERF) features from time-locked global field power (GFP) epochs using MEG while participants were performing a numerical N-back task in four consecutive measurements conducted during two different days separated by two weeks. We demonstrate that the latency of the MI70, a neural correlate associated with cognitive functions such as working memory, was a stable parameter and did not show significant variations over time. In addition, the M170 peak amplitude and the mean amplitude of late positive component (LPP) also expressed moderate-to-strong reliability across multiple measures over time over many sensor spaces and between participants. The M170 amplitude varied more significantly between the measurements in some conditions but showed consistency over the participants over time. In addition we demonstrated significant correlation with the M170 and LPP parameters and cognitive load. The results are in line with the literature showing less within-subject fluctuation for the latency parameters and more consistency in between-subject comparisons for amplitude based features. The within-subject consistency was apparent also with longer delays between the measurements. We suggest that with a few limitations the ERF features show sufficient reliability and stability for longitudinal research designs and clinical applications for cognitive functions in single as well as cross-subject designs. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.