We investigated the influence of processing steps in the estimation of multivariate directed functional connectivity during seizures recorded with intracranial EEG (iEEG) on seizure-onset zone (SOZ) localization. We studied the effect of (i) the number of nodes, (ii) time-series normalization, (iii) the choice of multivariate time-varying connectivity measure: Adaptive Directed Transfer Function (ADTF) or Adaptive Partial Directed Coherence (APDC) and (iv) graph theory measure: outdegree or shortest path length. First, simulations were performed to quantify the influence of the various processing steps on the accuracy to localize the SOZ. Afterwards, the SOZ was estimated from a 113-electrodes iEEG seizure recording and compared with the resection that rendered the patient seizure-free. The simulations revealed that ADTF is preferred over APDC to localize the SOZ from ictal iEEG recordings. Normalizing the time series before analysis resulted in an increase of 25-35% of correctly localized SOZ, while adding more nodes to the connectivity analysis led to a moderate decrease of 10%, when comparing 128 with 32 input nodes. The real-seizure connectivity estimates localized the SOZ inside the resection area using the ADTF coupled to outdegree or shortest path length. Our study showed that normalizing the time-series is an important pre-processing step, while adding nodes to the analysis did only marginally affect the SOZ localization. The study shows that directed multivariate Granger-based connectivity analysis is feasible with many input nodes (> 100) and that normalization of the time-series before connectivity analysis is preferred.
Keywords: Epilepsy; Granger causality; Intracranial EEG; Multivariate directed functional connectivity; Number of connectivity nodes; Time-series normalization.