Applying EEG phase synchronization measures to non-linearly coupled neural mass models

M. M. Vindiola, J. M. Vettel, S. M. Gordon, P. J. Franaszczuk, K. McDowell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Recent neuroimaging analyses aim to understand how information is integrated across brain regions that have traditionally been studied in isolation; however, detecting functional connectivity networks in experimental EEG recordings is a non-trivial task. New method: We use neural mass models to simulate 10-s trials with coupling between 1-3 and 5-8. s and compare how well three phase-based connectivity measures recover this connectivity pattern across a set of experimentally relevant conditions: variable oscillation frequency and power spectrum, feed forward connections with or without feedback, and simulated signals with and without volume conduction. Results: Overall, the results highlight successful detection of the onset and offset of significant synchronizations for a majority of the 28 simulated configurations; however, the tested phase measures sometimes differ in their sensitivity and specificity to the underlying connectivity. Comparison with existing methods: Prior work has shown that these phase measures perform well on signals generated by a computational model of coupled oscillators. In this work we extend previous studies by exploring the performance of these measures on a different class of computational models, and we compare the methods on 28 variations that capture a set of experimentally relevant conditions. Conclusions: Our results underscore that no single phase synchronization measure is substantially better than all others, and experimental investigations will likely benefit from combining a set of measures together that are chosen based on both the experimental question of interest, the signal to noise ratio in the EEG data, and the approach used for statistical significance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
StatePublished - Apr 15 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Imaginary coherence
  • Neural mass models
  • Phase lag index
  • Phase locking value
  • Phase synchronization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Applying EEG phase synchronization measures to non-linearly coupled neural mass models'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this