A statistical framework to assess cross-frequency coupling while accounting for confounding analysis effects

Elife. 2019 Oct 16;8:e44287. doi: 10.7554/eLife.44287.


Cross frequency coupling (CFC) is emerging as a fundamental feature of brain activity, correlated with brain function and dysfunction. Many different types of CFC have been identified through application of numerous data analysis methods, each developed to characterize a specific CFC type. Choosing an inappropriate method weakens statistical power and introduces opportunities for confounding effects. To address this, we propose a statistical modeling framework to estimate high frequency amplitude as a function of both the low frequency amplitude and low frequency phase; the result is a measure of phase-amplitude coupling that accounts for changes in the low frequency amplitude. We show in simulations that the proposed method successfully detects CFC between the low frequency phase or amplitude and the high frequency amplitude, and outperforms an existing method in biologically-motivated examples. Applying the method to in vivo data, we illustrate examples of CFC during a seizure and in response to electrical stimuli.

Keywords: brain rhythms; computational neuroscience; cross-frequency coupling; generalized linear models; human; neural data analysis; neuroscience; rat.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biostatistics / methods*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Waves*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Electroencephalography
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological