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Publisher: The National Academy of Sciences of the USA
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: Biological Sciences
Identifiers:pmc:PMC23551
Averaged event-related potential (ERP) data recorded from the human scalp reveal electroencephalographic (EEG) activity that is reliably time-locked and phase-locked to experimental events. We report here the application of a method based on information theory that decomposes one or more ERPs recorded at multiple scalp sensors into a sum of components with fixed scalp distributions and sparsely activated, maximally independent time courses. Independent component analysis (ICA) decomposes ERP data into a number of components equal to the number of sensors. The derived components have distinct but not necessarily orthogonal scalp projections. Unlike dipole-fitting methods, the algorithm does not model the locations of their generators in the head. Unlike methods that remove second-order correlations, such as principal component analysis (PCA), ICA also minimizes higher-order dependencies. Applied to detected—and undetected—target ERPs from an auditory vigilance experiment, the algorithm derived ten components that decomposed each of the major response peaks into one or more ICA components with relatively simple scalp distributions. Three of these components were active only when the subject detected the targets, three other components only when the target went undetected, and one in both cases. Three additional components accounted for the steady-state brain response to a 39-Hz background click train. Major features of the decomposition proved robust across sessions and changes in sensor number and placement. This method of ERP analysis can be used to compare responses from multiple stimuli, task conditions, and subject states.
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