[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The observation of highly variable sets of association neocortical areas across individuals, containing the estimated generators of Slow Potentials (SPs) and beta oscillations, lead to the persistence in individual analyses. This brought to notice an unexpected within individual topographic similarity between task conditions, despite our original interest in task-related differences. A recent related work explored the quantification of the similarity in beta topography between largely differing tasks. In this article, we used Independent Component Analysis (ICA) for the decomposition of beta activity from a visual attention task, and compared it with quiet resting, recorded by 128-channel EEG in 62 subjects. We statistically tested whether each ICA component obtained in one condition could be explained by a linear regression model based on the topographic patterns from the other condition, in each individual. Results were coherent with the previous report, showing a high topographic similarity between conditions. From an average of 12 beta component maps obtained for each task, over 80% were satisfactorily explained by the complementary task. Once more, the component maps including those considered unexplained, putatively "task-specific", had their scalp distribution and estimated cortical sources highly variable across subjects. These findings are discussed along with other studies based on individual data and the present fMRI results, reinforcing the increasingly accepted view that individual variability in sets of active neocortical association areas is not noise, but intrinsic to cortical physiology. Actual 'noise', mainly stemming from group "brain averaging" and the emphasis on statistical differences as opposed to similarities, may explain the overall hardship in replication of the vast literature on supposed task-specific forms of activity, and the ever inconclusive status of a universal functional mapping of cortical association areas. A new hypothesis, that individuals may use the same idiosyncratic sets of areas, at least by their fraction of activity in the sub-delta and beta range, in various non-sensory-motor forms of conscious activities, is a corollary of the discussed variability.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study aimed to verify the electrophysiological correlates of the changes in long-term regular meditators. We use modern techniques of high-resolution electroencephalography applied to slow potentials, power spectra, and potencies related to the events. To obtain encephalographic records, we use an assembly of 128 channels in 31 subjects (17 Soto Zen Buddhist meditators). The motivation of this study was to determine whether the induced beta power would present an increase in meditators as well as a decrease in induced theta/beta ratio in absolute and relative values. However, opposite to what we expected, no significant change was found in the beta frequency. In contrast, the main findings of the study were correlations between the frequency of weekly meditation practice and the increased theta induced relative power, increase of induced power ratio (ratio theta/beta), and increase of the ratio of induced relative powers (theta/beta ratio) during our task that featured an "adapted meditation," suggesting that the meditative state of "mindfulness" is much more related to the permittivity of "distractions" by the meditators, with a deliberate reduction of attention.
Preview · Article · Jan 2015 · BioMed Research International
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study we analyzed the topography of induced cortical oscillations in 20 healthy individuals performing simple attention tasks. We were interested in qualitatively replicating our recent findings on the localization of attention-induced beta bands during a visual task , and verifying whether significant topographic changes would follow the change of attention to the auditory modality. We computed corrected latency averaging of each induced frequency bands, and modeled their generators by current density reconstruction with Lp-norm minimization. We quantified topographic similarity between conditions by an analysis of correlations, whereas the inter-modality significant differences in attention correlates were illustrated in each individual case. We replicated the qualitative result of highly idiosyncratic topography of attention-related activity to individuals, manifested both in the beta bands, and previously studied slow potential distributions . Visual inspection of both scalp potentials and distribution of cortical currents showed minor changes in attention-related bands with respect to modality, as compared to the theta and delta bands, known to be major contributors to the sensory-related potentials. Quantitative results agreed with visual inspection, supporting to the conclusion that attention-related activity does not change much between modalities, and whatever individual changes do occur, they are not systematic in cortical localization across subjects. We discuss our results, combined with results from other studies that present individual data, with respect to the function of cortical association areas.