Non-linear canonical correlation for joint analysis of MEG signals from two subjects

Cristina Campi, Lauri Parkkonen, Riitta Hari, Aapo Hyvärinen

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Traditional stimulus-based analysis methods of magnetoencephalography (MEG) data are often dissatisfactory when applied to naturalistic experiments where two or more subjects are measured either simultaneously or sequentially. To uncover the commonalities in the brain activity of the two subjects, we propose a method that searches for linear transformations that output maximally correlated signals between the two brains. Our method is based on canonical correlation analysis (CCA), which provides linear transformations, one for each subject, such that the temporal correlation between the transformed MEG signals is maximized. Here, we present a non-linear version of CCA which measures the correlation of energies and allows for a variable delay between the time series to accommodate, e.g., leader–follower changes. We test the method with simulations and with MEG data from subjects who received the same naturalistic stimulus sequence. The method may help analyse future experiments where the two subjects are measured simultaneously while engaged in social interaction.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107
Pages (from-to)1-7
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • canonical correlation anaysis (CCA)
  • non-linear CCA
  • magnetoencephalography (MEG)
  • social interaction
  • brain signal processing


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