Physical Review E, 91(2), 022927p. (2015) DOI:10.1103/PhysRevE.91.022927

Dynamics of intracranial electroencephalographic recordings from epilepsy patients using univariate and bivariate recurrence networks

N. P. Subramaniyam, J. Hyttinen

Recently Andrezejak et al. combined the randomness and nonlinear independence test with iterative amplitude adjusted Fourier transform (iAAFT) surrogates to distinguish between the dynamics of seizure-free intracranial electroencephalographic (EEG) signals recorded from epileptogenic (focal) and nonepileptogenic (nonfocal) brain areas of epileptic patients. However, stationarity is a part of the null hypothesis for iAAFT surrogates and thus nonstationarity can violate the null hypothesis. In this work we first propose the application of the randomness and nonlinear independence test based on recurrence network measures to distinguish between the dynamics of focal and nonfocal EEG signals. Furthermore, we combine these tests with both iAAFT and truncated Fourier transform (TFT) surrogate methods, which also preserves the nonstationarity of the original data in the surrogates along with its linear structure. Our results indicate that focal EEG signals exhibit an increased degree of structural complexity and interdependency compared to nonfocal EEG signals. In general, we find higher rejections for randomness and nonlinear independence tests for focal EEG signals compared to nonfocal EEG signals. In particular, the univariate recurrence network measures, the average clustering coefficient C and assortativity R, and the bivariate recurrence network measure, the average cross-clustering coefficient Ccross, can successfully distinguish between the focal and nonfocal EEG signals, even when the analysis is restricted to nonstationary signals, irrespective of the type of surrogates used. On the other hand, we find that the univariate recurrence network measures, the average path length L, and the average betweenness centrality BC fail to distinguish between the focal and nonfocal EEG signals when iAAFT surrogates are used. However, these two measures can distinguish between focal and nonfocal EEG signals when TFT surrogates are used for nonstationary signals. We also report an improvement in the performance of nonlinear prediction error N and nonlinear interdependence measure L used by Andrezejak et al., when TFT surrogates are used for nonstationary EEG signals. We also find that the outcome of the nonlinear independence test based on the average cross-clustering coefficient Ccross is independent of the outcome of the randomness test based on the average clustering coefficient C. Thus, the univariate and bivariate recurrence network measures provide independent information regarding the dynamics of the focal and nonfocal EEG signals. In conclusion, recurrence network analysis combined with nonstationary surrogates can be applied to derive reliable biomarkers to distinguish between epileptogenic and nonepileptogenic brain areas using EEG signals.

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