Entropy (2021-12-01)

On the Variability of Functional Connectivity and Network Measures in Source-Reconstructed EEG Time-Series

  • Matteo Fraschini,
  • Simone Maurizio La Cava,
  • Luca Didaci,
  • Luigi Barberini

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 23, no. 5
p. 5


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The idea of estimating the statistical interdependence among (interacting) brain regions has motivated numerous researchers to investigate how the resulting connectivity patterns and networks may organize themselves under any conceivable scenario. Even though this idea has developed beyond its initial stages, its practical application is still far away from being widespread. One concurrent cause may be related to the proliferation of different approaches that aim to catch the underlying statistical interdependence among the (interacting) units. This issue has probably contributed to hindering comparisons among different studies. Not only do all these approaches go under the same name (functional connectivity), but they have often been tested and validated using different methods, therefore, making it difficult to understand to what extent they are similar or not. In this study, we aim to compare a set of different approaches commonly used to estimate the functional connectivity on a public EEG dataset representing a possible realistic scenario. As expected, our results show that source-level EEG connectivity estimates and the derived network measures, even though pointing to the same direction, may display substantial dependency on the (often arbitrary) choice of the selected connectivity metric and thresholding approach. In our opinion, the observed variability reflects the ambiguity and concern that should always be discussed when reporting findings based on any connectivity metric.