The surgical outcomes of patients suffering from neocortical epilepsy are not always successful. The main difficulty in the treatment of neocortical epilepsy is that current technology has limited accuracy in mapping neocortical epileptogenic tissue (see Haglund and Hochman 2004). It is known that the optical spectroscopic properties of brain tissue are correlated with changes in neuronal activity. The method of mapping these activity-evoked optical changes is known as imaging of intrinsic optical signals (ImIOS). Activity-evoked optical changes measured in neocortex are generated by changes in cerebral hemodynamics (i.e., changes in blood oxygenation and blood volume).
ImIOS has the potential to be useful for both clinical and experimental investigations of the human neocortex. However, its usefulness for human studies is currently limited because intra-operatively acquired ImIOS data is noisy. To improve the reliability and usefulness of ImIOS for human studies, it is desirable to find appropriate statistical appropriate methods for the removal of noise artifacts and its statistical analysis (see Lavine et al. 2011).
In this paper we introduce a novel flexible tool, based on spatial statistical representation of ImIOS, that allows for source localization of the epilepsy regions. In particular, our model incorporates spatial correlation between the location of the epileptic region(s) and the neighboring regions, non-stationarity of the observed time series, and heartbeat/respiration cyclical components. The final goal is clustering (dimension reduction) of the pixels in regions, in order to localize the epilepsy regions for the craniectomy.
The advantage of our approach compared with previous approaches is twofold. Firstly, we use a non-parametric specification, rather than the (more restrictive) parametric or polynomial-based specification. Secondly, we provide a statistical method – based on the spatial information – that is able to identify the clusters in a data-driven way, rather than the (sometimes arbitrary) ad-hoc currently used approaches.
To demonstrate how our method might be used for intra-operative neuro- surgical mapping, we provide an application of the technique to optical data acquired from a single human subject during direct electrical stimulation of the cortex.