Time-resolved parameterization of aperiodic and periodic brain activity

Elife. 2022 Sep 12:11:e77348. doi: 10.7554/eLife.77348.


Macroscopic neural dynamics comprise both aperiodic and periodic signal components. Recent advances in parameterizing neural power spectra offer practical tools for evaluating these features separately. Although neural signals vary dynamically and express non-stationarity in relation to ongoing behaviour and perception, current methods yield static spectral decompositions. Here, we introduce Spectral Parameterization Resolved in Time (SPRiNT) as a novel method for decomposing complex neural dynamics into periodic and aperiodic spectral elements in a time-resolved manner. First, we demonstrate, with naturalistic synthetic data, SPRiNT's capacity to reliably recover time-varying spectral features. We emphasize SPRiNT's specific strengths compared to other time-frequency parameterization approaches based on wavelets. Second, we use SPRiNT to illustrate how aperiodic spectral features fluctuate across time in empirical resting-state EEG data (n=178) and relate the observed changes in aperiodic parameters over time to participants' demographics and behaviour. Lastly, we use SPRiNT to demonstrate how aperiodic dynamics relate to movement behaviour in intracranial recordings in rodents. We foresee SPRiNT responding to growing neuroscientific interests in the parameterization of time-varying neural power spectra and advancing the quantitation of complex neural dynamics at the natural time scales of behaviour.

Keywords: aperiodic; electrophysiology; human; neural oscillations; neuroscience; parameterization; periodic; power spectra; rat.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Brain*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies