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Computational Intelligence and Neuroscience
Volume 2012, Article ID 275073, 12 pages
Research Article

Noise-Assisted Instantaneous Coherence Analysis of Brain Connectivity

School of Biomedical Engineering, Science & Health Systems, Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

Received 13 December 2011; Revised 17 February 2012; Accepted 6 March 2012

Academic Editor: Marc Van Hulle

Copyright © 2012 Meng Hu and Hualou Liang. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Characterizing brain connectivity between neural signals is key to understanding brain function. Current measures such as coherence heavily rely on Fourier or wavelet transform, which inevitably assume the signal stationarity and place severe limits on its time-frequency resolution. Here we addressed these issues by introducing a noise-assisted instantaneous coherence (NAIC) measure based on multivariate mode empirical decomposition (MEMD) coupled with Hilbert transform to achieve high-resolution time frequency representation of neural coherence. In our method, fully data-driven MEMD, together with Hilbert transform, is first employed to provide time-frequency power spectra for neural data. Such power spectra are typically sparse and of high resolution, that is, there usually exist many zero values, which result in numerical problems for directly computing coherence. Hence, we propose to add random noise onto the spectra, making coherence calculation feasible. Furthermore, a statistical randomization procedure is designed to cancel out the effect of the added noise. Computer simulations are first performed to verify the effectiveness of NAIC. Local field potentials collected from visual cortex of macaque monkey while performing a generalized flash suppression task are then used to demonstrate the usefulness of our NAIC method to provide highresolution time-frequency coherence measure for connectivity analysis of neural data.