Knowledge of brain connectivity is an important aspect of modern neuroscience, to understand how the brain realizes its functions. In this work, neural mass models including four groups of excitatory and inhibitory neurons are used to estimate the connectivity among three cortical regions of interests (ROIs) during a foot-movement task. Real data were obtained via high-resolution scalp EEGs on two populations: healthy volunteers and tetraplegic patients. A 3-shell Boundary Element Model of the head was used to estimate the cortical current density and to derive cortical EEGs in the three ROIs. The model assumes that each ROI can generate an intrinsic rhythm in the beta range, and receives rhythms in the alpha and gamma ranges from other two regions. Connectivity strengths among the ROIs were estimated by means of an original genetic algorithm that tries to minimize several cost functions of the difference between real and model power spectral densities. Results show that the stronger connections are those from the cingulate cortex to the primary and supplementary motor areas, thus emphasizing the pivotal role played by the CMAL during the task. Tetraplegic patients exhibit higher connectivity strength on average, with significant statistical differences in some connections. The results are commented and virtues and limitations of the proposed method discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science(all)