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Chin. Phys. B, 2019, Vol. 28(4): 048702    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/28/4/048702

Cross-frequency network analysis of functional brain connectivity in temporal lobe epilepsy

Hai-Tao Yu(于海涛)1, Li-Hui Cai(蔡立辉)1, Xin-Yu Wu(武欣昱)1, Jiang Wang(王江)1, Jing Liu(刘静)2, Hong Zhang(张宏)2
1 School of Electrical and Information Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China;
2 Department of Neurology, Tangshan Gongren Hospital, Tangshan 063000, China

In this study, we investigate the cross-frequency coupling and functional brain networks in the subjects with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) using interictal EEG signals. The phase to phase synchronization within and across frequency bands is calculated and a significant difference between the epilepsy and control groups is observed. Compared with the controls, the epilepsy patients exhibit a stronger within-frequency coupling (WFC) within theta and beta bands, and shows a stronger cross-frequency coupling (CFC) in the delta-alpha and theta-alpha band pairs, but a weakened CFC in alpha-beta band pairs. The weakened coupling between alpha and high frequency band reflects a suppression of phase modulation between the brain regions related to epilepsy. Moreover, WFC and CFC are positively correlated, which is higher in the patients relative to controls. We further reconstruct functional brain connectivity and find that both WFC and CFC networks show small-world properties. For the epilepsy, the small-world efficiency is enhanced in the CFC networks in delta-alpha and theta-alpha band pairs, whereas weakened between alpha and beta bands, which suggests a shift away from the optimal operating point in the epileptic brain with a new balance between WFC and CFC. Our results may help us to understand the important role of information communication across different frequency bands and shed new light on the study of pathology of epilepsy.

Keywords:  cross-frequency coupling      epilepsy      functional connectivity      phase synchronization  
Received:  25 December 2018      Revised:  21 January 2019      Accepted manuscript online: 
PACS:  87.19.le (EEG and MEG)  
  87.19.xm (Epilepsy)  

Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61302002).

Corresponding Authors:  Hong Zhang     E-mail:

Cite this article: 

Hai-Tao Yu(于海涛), Li-Hui Cai(蔡立辉), Xin-Yu Wu(武欣昱), Jiang Wang(王江), Jing Liu(刘静), Hong Zhang(张宏) Cross-frequency network analysis of functional brain connectivity in temporal lobe epilepsy 2019 Chin. Phys. B 28 048702

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