Genuine and Spurious Phase Synchronization Strengths during Consciousness and General Anesthesia

Division of Neuroanesthesiology, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States of America.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 10/2012; 7(10):e46313. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0046313
Source: PubMed


Spectral content in a physiological dataset of finite size has the potential to produce spurious measures of coherence. This is especially true for electroencephalography (EEG) during general anesthesia because of the significant alteration of the power spectrum. In this study we quantitatively evaluated the genuine and spurious phase synchronization strength (PSS) of EEG during consciousness, general anesthesia, and recovery. A computational approach based on the randomized data method was used for evaluating genuine and spurious PSS. The validity of the method was tested with a simulated dataset. We applied this method to the EEG of normal subjects undergoing general anesthesia and investigated the finite size effects of EEG references, data length and spectral content on phase synchronization. The most influential factor for genuine PSS was the type of EEG reference; the most influential factor for spurious PSS was the spectral content. Genuine and spurious PSS showed characteristic temporal patterns for each frequency band across consciousness and anesthesia. Simultaneous measurement of both genuine and spurious PSS during general anesthesia is necessary in order to avoid incorrect interpretations regarding states of consciousness.

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