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2022, JOURNAL OF NEURAL ENGINEERING, Pages 066004- (volume: 19)

Time-frequency analysis of brain activity in response to directional and non-directional visual stimuli: an event related spectral perturbations (ERSP) study (01a Articolo in rivista)

Vecchio Fabrizio, Nucci Lorenzo, Pappalettera Chiara, Miraglia Francesca, Iacoviello Daniela, Maria Rossini Paolo

Objective. A large part of the cerebral cortex is dedicated to the processing of visual stimuli and there is still much to understand about such processing modalities and hierarchies. The main aim of the present study is to investigate the differences between directional visual stimuli (DS) and non-directional visual stimuli (n-DS) processing by time-frequency analysis of brain electroencephalographic activity during a visuo-motor task. Electroencephalography (EEG) data were divided into four regions of interest (ROIs) (frontal, central, parietal, occipital). Approach. The analysis of the visual stimuli processing was based on the combination of electroencephalographic recordings and time-frequency analysis. Event related spectral perturbations (ERSPs) were computed with spectrum analysis that allow to obtain the average time course of relative changes induced by the stimulus presentation in spontaneous EEG amplitude spectrum. Main results. Visual stimuli processing enhanced the same pattern of spectral modulation in all investigated ROIs with differences in amplitudes and timing. Additionally, statistically significant differences in occipital ROI between the DS and n-DS visual stimuli processing in theta, alpha and beta bands were found. Significance. These evidences suggest that ERSPs could be a useful tool to investigate the encoding of visual information in different brain regions. Because of their simplicity and their capability in the representation of brain activity, the ERSPs might be used as biomarkers of functional recovery for example in the rehabilitation of visual dysfunction and motor impairment following a stroke, as well as diagnostic tool of anomalies in brain functions in neurological diseases tailored to personalized treatments in clinical environment.
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