A simulation study: comparing independent component analysis and signal-space projection – source-informed reconstruction for rejecting muscle artifacts evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation

Tuomas Mutanen, Ida Ilmoniemi, Iiris Atti, Johanna Metsomaa, Risto Ilmoniemi

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Abstract

Introduction: The combination of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and electroencephalography (EEG) allows researchers to explore cortico-cortical connections. To study effective connections, the first few tens of milliseconds of the TMS-evoked potentials are the most critical. Yet, TMS-evoked artifacts complicate the interpretation of early-latency data. Data-processing strategies like independent component analysis (ICA) and the combined signal-space projection–source-informed reconstruction approach (SSP–SIR) are designed to mitigate artifacts, but their objective assessment is challenging because the true neuronal EEG responses under large-amplitude artifacts are generally unknown. Through simulations, we quantified how the spatiotemporal properties of the artifacts affect the cleaning performances of ICA and SSP–SIR. Methods: We simulated TMS-induced muscle artifacts and superposed them on pre-processed TMS–EEG data, serving as the ground truth. The simulated muscle artifacts were varied both in terms of their topography and temporal profiles. The signals were then cleaned using ICA and SSP–SIR, and subsequent comparisons were made with the ground truth data. Results: ICA performed better when the artifact time courses were highly variable across the trials, whereas the effectiveness of SSP–SIR depended on the congruence between the artifact and neuronal topographies, with the performance of SSP–SIR being better when difference between topographies was larger. Overall, SSP–SIR performed better than ICA across the tested conditions. Based on these simulations, SSP–SIR appears to be more effective in suppressing TMS-evoked muscle artifacts. These artifacts are shown to be highly time-locked to the TMS pulse and manifest in topographies that differ substantially from the patterns of neuronal potentials. Discussion: Selecting between ICA and SSP–SIR should be guided by the characteristics of the artifacts. SSP–SIR might be better equipped for suppressing time-locked artifacts, provided that their topographies are sufficiently different from the neuronal potential patterns of interest, and that the SSP–SIR algorithm can successfully find those artifact topographies from the high-pass-filtered data. ICA remains a powerful tool for rejecting artifacts that are not strongly time locked to the TMS pulse.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1324958
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Volume18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • electroencephalography
  • independent component analysis
  • data analysis
  • signal-space projection
  • simulation
  • artifact rejection
  • transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • modelling

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