Short-Term EEG Spectral Pattern as a Single Event in EEG Phenomenology

The Open Neuroimaging Journal 8 Sept 2010 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874440001004010130


Spectral decomposition, to this day, still remains the main analytical paradigm for the analysis of EEG oscillations. However, conventional spectral analysis assesses the mean characteristics of the EEG power spectra averaged out over extended periods of time and/or broad frequency bands, thus resulting in a “static” picture which cannot reflect adequately the underlying neurodynamic. A relatively new promising area in the study of EEG is based on reducing the signal to elementary short-term spectra of various types in accordance with the number of types of EEG stationary segments instead of using averaged power spectrum for the whole EEG. It is suggested that the various perceptual and cognitive operations associated with a mental or behavioural condition constitute a single distinguishable neurophysiological state with a distinct and reliable spectral pattern. In this case, one type of short-term spectral pattern may be considered as a single event in EEG phenomenology. To support this assumption the following issues are considered in detail: (a) the relations between local EEG short-term spectral pattern of particular type and the actual state of the neurons in underlying network and a volume conduction; (b) relationship between morphology of EEG short-term spectral pattern and the state of the underlying neurodynamical system i.e. neuronal assembly; (c) relation of different spectral pattern components to a distinct physiological mechanism; (d) relation of different spectral pattern components to different functional significance; (e) developmental changes of spectral pattern components; (f) heredity of the variance in the individual spectral pattern and its components; (g) intra-individual stability of the sets of EEG short-term spectral patterns and their percent ratio; (h) discrete dynamics of EEG short-term spectral patterns. Functional relevance (consistency) of EEG short-term spectral patterns in accordance with the changes of brain functional state, cognitive task and with different neuropsychopathologies is demonstrated.

Keywords: Electroencephalogram (EEG) phenomenology, short-term spectral patterns, neuronal assemblies, EEG oscillatory states, brain oscillations, EEG frequencies.
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