Neuromagnetic localization of rhythmic activity in the human brain: a comparison of three methods

Neuroimage. 2005 Apr 15;25(3):734-45. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2004.11.034.


Cortical rhythmic activity is increasingly employed for characterizing human brain function. Using MEG, it is possible to localize the generators of these rhythms. Traditionally, the source locations have been estimated using sequential dipole modeling. Recently, two new methods for localizing rhythmic activity have been developed, Dynamic Imaging of Coherent Sources (DICS) and Frequency-Domain Minimum Current Estimation (MCE(FD)). With new analysis methods emerging, the researcher faces the problem of choosing an appropriate strategy. The aim of this study was to compare the performance and reliability of these three methods. The evaluation was performed using measured data from four healthy subjects, as well as with simulations of rhythmic activity. We found that the methods gave comparable results, and that all three approaches localized the principal sources of oscillatory activity very well. Dipole modeling is a very powerful tool once appropriate subsets of sensors have been selected. MCE(FD) provides simultaneous localization of sources and was found to give a good overview of the data. With DICS, it was possible to separate close-by sources that were not retrieved by the other two methods.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alpha Rhythm
  • Arousal / physiology
  • Attention / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Magnetoencephalography / methods*
  • Mathematical Computing
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Oscillometry
  • Pitch Perception / physiology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted*