Evaluation of electroencephalography source localization algorithms with multiple cortical sources

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31 Scopus citations


Background: Source localization algorithms often show multiple active cortical areas as the source of electroencephalography (EEG). Yet, there is little data quantifying the accuracy of these results. In this paper, the performance of current source density source localization algorithms for the detection of multiple cortical sources of EEG data has been characterized. Methods: EEG data were generated by simulating multiple cortical sources (2-4) with the same strength or two sources with relative strength ratios of 1:1 to 4:1, and adding noise. These data were used to reconstruct the cortical sources using current source density (CSD) algorithms: sLORETA, MNLS, and LORETA using a p-norm with p equal to 1, 1.5 and 2. Precision (percentage of the reconstructed activity corresponding to simulated activity) and Recall (percentage of the simulated sources reconstructed) of each of the CSD algorithms were calculated. Results: While sLORETA has the best performance when only one source is present, when two or more sources are present LORETA with p equal to 1.5 performs better. When the relative strength of one of the sources is decreased, all algorithms have more difficulty reconstructing that source. However, LORETA 1.5 continues to outperform other algorithms. If only the strongest source is of interest sLORETA is recommended, while LORETA with p equal to 1.5 is recommended if two or more of the cortical sources are of interest. These results provide guidance for choosing a CSD algorithm to locate multiple cortical sources of EEG and for interpreting the results of these algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0147266
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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