Significance probability mapping: an aid in the topographic analysis of brain electrical activity

Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol. 1981 May;51(5):455-62. doi: 10.1016/0013-4694(81)90221-2.


We illustrate the application of significance probability mapping (SPM) to the analysis of topographic maps of spectral analyzed EEG and visual evoked potential (VEP) activity from patients with brain tumors, boys with dyslexia, and control subjects. When the VEP topographic plots of tumor patients were displayed as number of standard deviations from a reference mean, more subjects were correctly identified than by inspection of the underlying raw data. When topographic plots of EEG alpha activity obtained while listening to speech or music were compared by t statistic to plots of resting alpha activity, regions of cortex presumably activated by speech or music were delineated. DIfferent regions were defined in dyslexic boys and controls. We propose that SPM will prove valuable in the regional localization of normal and abnormal functions in other clinical situations.

MeSH terms

  • Alpha Rhythm
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Child
  • Dyslexia / diagnosis*
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Evoked Potentials*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Music
  • Occipital Lobe
  • Parietal Lobe
  • Speech Perception
  • Temporal Lobe
  • Visual Pathways / physiopathology*