NeuroImage (2021-05-01)

Reliability of EEG microstate analysis at different electrode densities during propofol-induced transitions of brain states

  • Kexu Zhang,
  • Wen Shi,
  • Chang Wang,
  • Yamin Li,
  • Zhian Liu,
  • Tun Liu,
  • Jing Li,
  • Xiangguo Yan,
  • Qiang Wang,
  • Zehong Cao,
  • Gang Wang

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 231
p. 117861


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Electroencephalogram (EEG) microstate analysis is a promising and effective spatio-temporal method that can segment signals into several quasi-stable classes, providing a great opportunity to investigate short-range and long-range neural dynamics. However, there are still many controversies in terms of reproducibility and reliability when selecting different parameters or datatypes.In this study, five electrode configurations (91, 64, 32, 19, and 8 channels) were used to measure the reliability of microstate analysis at different electrode densities during propofol-induced sedation.First, the microstate topography and parameters at five different electrode densities were compared in the baseline (BS) condition and the moderate sedation (MD) condition, respectively. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and coefficient of variation (CV) were introduced to quantify the consistency of the microstate parameters. Second, statistical analysis and classification between BS and MD were performed to determine whether the microstate differences between different conditions remained stable at different electrode densities, and ICC was also calculated between the different conditions to measure the consistency of the results in a single condition.The results showed that in both the BS or MD condition, respectively, there were few significant differences in the microstate parameters among the 91-, 64-, and 32-channel configurations, with most of the differences observed between the 19- or 8-channel configurations and the other configurations. The ICC and CV data also showed that the consistency among the 91-, 64-, and 32-channel configurations was better than that among all five electrode configurations after including the 19- and 8-channel configurations. Furthermore, the significant differences between the conditions in the 91-channel configuration remained stable at the 64- and 32-channel resolutions, but disappeared at the 19- and 8-channel resolutions. In addition, the classification and ICC results showed that the microstate analysis became unreliable with fewer than 20 electrodes.The findings of this study support the hypothesis that microstate analysis of different brain states is more reliable with higher electrode densities; the use of a small number of channels is not recommended.