Spatio-temporal reconstruction of bilateral auditory steady-state responses using MEG beamformers

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2008 Mar;55(3):1092-102. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2007.906504.


A rapidly growing number of neuromagnetic studies focus on the analysis of auditory steady-state responses (ASSR) in relation to a diverse array of factors including age, selective attention, and presence of psychopathology. The objectives of these studies require accurate spatio-temporal estimation of the underlying neural generators, a challenging task due to the relatively low signal strength and high correlation between bilateral auditory cortical sources. This paper evaluates the performance of two beamforming schemes that can potentially overcome such difficulties: 1) the linearly constrained minimum variance beamformer with partial sensor coverage (LCMV-PSC), and 2) the multiple constrained minimum-variance beamformer with coherent source region suppression (MCMV-CSRS). Simulation experiments are conducted to assess the impact of source parameters on the reconstruction accuracy. The results indicate that the LCMV-PSC method is prone to localization errors that essentially occur along medio-lateral directions, increase with source depth, and are associated to amplitude and phase distortions of the estimated time courses of activity. Comparatively, the MCMV-CSRS method exhibits precise localization and minimal amplitude and phase distortion for a broad range of relative interferer's positions within the suppression region. The results from the numerical experiments are validated on real magnetoencephalographic (MEG) data collected from a 40-Hz ASSR paradigm.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetoencephalography / methods*
  • Nerve Net / physiology*