February 25, 2021

Granger Causality Inference in EEG Source Connectivity Analysis: A State-Space Approach

This paper provides a scheme of discovering a brain effective connectivity through EEG signals using a Granger causality (GC) concept characterized on state-space models. We propose a state-space model for explaining coupled dynamics of the source and EEG signals where EEG is a linear combination of sources according to the characteristics of volume conduction. Our formulation has a sparsity prior on the source output matrix that can further classify active and inactive sources. The scheme is comprised of two main steps: model estimation and model inference to estimate brain connectivity. The model estimation consists of performing a subspace identification and the active source selection based on a group-norm regularized least-squares. The model inference relies on the concept of state-space GC that requires solving a discrete-time Riccati equation for the covariance of estimation error. We verify the performance on simulated data sets that represent realistic human brain activities under several conditions including percentages of active sources, a number of EEG electrodes and the location of active sources. The performance of estimating brain networks is compared with a two-stage approach using source reconstruction algorithms and VAR-based Granger analysis. Our method achieved better performances than the two-stage approach under the assumptions that the true source dynamics are sparse and generated from state-space models. The method is applied to a real EEG SSVEP data set and we found that the temporal lobe played a role of a mediator of connections between temporal and occipital areas, which agreed with findings in previous studies.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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