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  • Mutanen, Tuomas P.; Metsomaa, Johanna; Liljander, Sara; Ilmoniemi, Risto J. (2018)
    Electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) often suffer from noise-and artifact-contaminated channels and trials. Conventionally, EEG and MEG data are inspected visually and cleaned accordingly, e.g., by identifying and rejecting the so-called "bad" channels. This approach has several shortcomings: data inspection is laborious, the rejection criteria are subjective, and the process does not fully utilize all the information in the collected data. Here, we present noise-cleaning methods based on modeling the multi-sensor and multi-trial data. These approaches offer objective, automatic, and robust removal of noise and disturbances by taking into account the sensor-or trial-specific signal-to-noise ratios. We introduce a method called the source-estimate-utilizing noise-discarding algorithm (the SOUND algorithm). SOUND employs anatomical information of the head to cross-validate the data between the sensors. As a result, we are able to identify and suppress noise and artifacts in EEG and MEG. Furthermore, we discuss the theoretical background of SOUND and show that it is a special case of the well-known Wiener estimators. We explain how a completely data-driven Wiener estimator (DDWiener) can be used when no anatomical information is available. DDWiener is easily applicable to any linear multivariate problem; as a demonstrative example, we show how DDWiener can be utilized when estimating event-related EEG/MEG responses. We validated the performance of SOUND with simulations and by applying SOUND to multiple EEG and MEG datasets. SOUND considerably improved the data quality, exceeding the performance of the widely used channel-rejection and interpolation scheme. SOUND also helped in localizing the underlying neural activity by preventing noise from contaminating the source estimates. SOUND can be used to detect and reject noise in functional brain data, enabling improved identification of active brain areas.
  • Pallesen, Karen Johanne; Bailey, Christopher J.; Brattico, Elvira; Gjedde, Albert; Palva, J. Matias; Palva, Satu (2015)
    Musical expertise is associated with structural and functional changes in the brain that underlie facilitated auditory perception. We investigated whether the phase locking (PL) and amplitude modulations (AM) of neuronal oscillations in response to musical chords are correlated with musical expertise and whether they reflect the prototypicality of chords in Western tonal music. To this aim, we recorded magnetoencephalography (MEG) while musicians and non-musicians were presented with common prototypical major and minor chords, and with uncommon, non-prototypical dissonant and mistuned chords, while watching a silenced movie. We then analyzed the PL and AM of ongoing oscillations in the theta (4-8 Hz) alpha (8-14 Hz), beta- (14-30 Hz) and gamma- (30-80 Hz) bands to these chords. We found that musical expertise was associated with strengthened PL of ongoing oscillations to chords over a wide frequency range during the first 300 ms from stimulus onset, as opposed to increased alpha-band AM to chords over temporal MEG channels. In musicians, the gamma- band PL was strongest to non-prototypical compared to other chords, while in non-musicians PL was strongest to minor chords. In both musicians and non-musicians the long-latency (> 200 ms) gamma-band PL was also sensitive to chord identity, and particularly to the amplitude modulations (beats) of the dissonant chord. These findings suggest that musical expertise modulates oscillation PL to musical chords and that the strength of these modulations is dependent on chord prototypicality.
  • Siebenhühner, Felix; Wang, Sheng H.; Arnulfo, Gabriele; Lampinen, Anna; Nobili, Lino; Palva, J. Matias; Palva, Satu (2020)
    Phase synchronization of neuronal oscillations in specific frequency bands coordinates anatomically distributed neuronal processing and communication. Typically, oscillations and synchronization take place concurrently in many distinct frequencies, which serve separate computational roles in cognitive functions. While within-frequency phase synchronization has been studied extensively, less is known about the mechanisms that govern neuronal processing distributed across frequencies and brain regions. Such integration of processing between frequencies could be achieved via cross-frequency coupling (CFC), either by phase-amplitude coupling (PAC) or by n:m-cross-frequency phase synchrony (CFS). So far, studies have mostly focused on local CFC in individual brain regions, whereas the presence and functional organization of CFC between brain areas have remained largely unknown. We posit that interareal CFC may be essential for large-scale coordination of neuronal activity and investigate here whether genuine CFC networks are present in human resting-state (RS) brain activity. To assess the functional organization of CFC networks, we identified brain-wide CFC networks at mesoscale resolution from stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) and at macroscale resolution from source-reconstructed magnetoencephalography (MEG) data. We developed a novel, to our knowledge, graph-theoretical method to distinguish genuine CFC from spurious CFC that may arise from nonsinusoidal signals ubiquitous in neuronal activity. We show that genuine interareal CFC is present in human RS activity in both SEEG and MEG data. Both CFS and PAC networks coupled theta and alpha oscillations with higher frequencies in large-scale networks connecting anterior and posterior brain regions. CFS and PAC networks had distinct spectral patterns and opposing distribution of low- and high-frequency network hubs, implying that they constitute distinct CFC mechanisms. The strength of CFS networks was also predictive of cognitive performance in a separate neuropsychological assessment. In conclusion, these results provide evidence for interareal CFS and PAC being 2 distinct mechanisms for coupling oscillations across frequencies in large-scale brain networks.
  • Petkoski, Spase; Palva, J. Matias; Jirsa, Viktor K. (2018)
    Architecture of phase relationships among neural oscillations is central for their functional significance but has remained theoretically poorly understood. We use phenomenological model of delay-coupled oscillators with increasing degree of topological complexity to identify underlying principles by which the spatio-temporal structure of the brain governs the phase lags between oscillatory activity at distant regions. Phase relations and their regions of stability are derived and numerically confirmed for two oscillators and for networks with randomly distributed or clustered bimodal delays, as a first approximation for the brain structural connectivity. Besides in-phase, clustered delays can induce anti-phase synchronization for certain frequencies, while the sign of the lags is determined by the natural frequencies and by the inhomogeneous network interactions. For in-phase synchronization faster oscillators always phase lead, while stronger connected nodes lag behind the weaker during frequency depression, which consistently arises for in-silico results. If nodes are in antiphase regime, then a distance Pi is added to the in-phase trends. The statistics of the phases is calculated from the phase locking values (PLV), as in many empirical studies, and we scrutinize the method's impact. The choice of surrogates do not affects the mean of the observed phase lags, but higher significance levels that are generated by some surrogates, cause decreased variance and might fail to detect the generally weaker coherence of the interhemispheric links. These links are also affected by the non-stationary and intermittent synchronization, which causes multimodal phase lags that can be misleading if averaged. Taken together, the results describe quantitatively the impact of the spatio-temporal connectivity of the brain to the synchronization patterns between brain regions, and to uncover mechanisms through which the spatio-temporal structure of the brain renders phases to be distributed around 0 and Pi.
  • Rouhinen, Santeri; Siebenhühner, Felix; Palva, J. Matias; Palva, Satu (2020)
    The capacity of visual attention determines how many visual objects may be perceived at any moment. This capacity can be investigated with multiple object tracking (MOT) tasks, which have shown that it varies greatly between individuals. The neuronal mechanisms underlying capacity limits have remained poorly understood. Phase synchronization of cortical oscillations coordinates neuronal communication within the fronto-parietal attention network and between the visual regions during endogenous visual attention. We tested a hypothesis that attentional capacity is predicted by the strength of pretarget synchronization within attention-related cortical regions. We recorded cortical activity with magneto- and electroencephalography (M/EEG) while measuring attentional capacity with MOT tasks and identified large-scale synchronized networks from source-reconstructed M/EEG data. Individual attentional capacity was correlated with load-dependent strengthening of theta (3-8 Hz), alpha (8-10 Hz), and gamma-band (30-120 Hz) synchronization that connected the visual cortex with posterior parietal and prefrontal cortices. Individual memory capacity was also preceded by crossfrequency phase-phase and phase-amplitude coupling of alpha oscillation phase with beta and gamma oscillations. Our results show that good attentional capacity is preceded by efficient dynamic functional coupling and decoupling within brain regions and across frequencies, which may enable efficient communication and routing of information between sensory and attentional systems.