Removing ocular artifacts from magnetoencephalographic data on naturalistic reading of continuous texts

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Abstract

Naturalistic reading paradigms and stimuli consisting of long continuous texts are essential for characterizing the cortical basis of reading. Due to the highly dynamic nature of the reading process, electrophysiological brain imaging methods with high spatial and temporal resolution, such as magnetoencephalography (MEG), are ideal for tracking them. However, as electrophysiological recordings are sensitive to electromagnetic artifacts, data recorded during naturalistic reading is confounded by ocular artifacts. In this study, we evaluate two different pipelines for removing ocular artifacts from MEG data collected during continuous, naturalistic reading, with the focus on saccades and blinks. Both pipeline alternatives are based on blind source separation methods but differ fundamentally in their approach. The first alternative is a multi-part process, in which saccades are first extracted by applying Second-Order Blind Identification (SOBI) and, subsequently, FastICA is used to extract blinks. The other alternative uses a single powerful method, Adaptive Mixture ICA (AMICA), to remove all artifact types at once. The pipelines were tested, and their effects compared on MEG data recorded from 13 subjects in a naturalistic reading task where the subjects read texts with the length of multiple pages. Both pipelines performed well, extracting the artifacts in a single component per artifact type in most subjects. Signal power was reduced across the whole cortex in all studied frequency bands from 1 to 90 Hz, but especially in the frontal cortex and temporal pole. The results were largely similar for the two pipelines, with the exception that SOBI-FastICA reduced signal in the right frontal cortex in all studied frequency bands more than AMICA. However, there was considerable interindividual variation in the effects of the pipelines. As a holistic conclusion, we choose to recommend AMICA for removing artifacts from MEG data on naturalistic reading but note that the SOBI-FastICA pipeline has also various favorable characteristics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number974162
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Volume16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • naturalistic task
  • eye movement
  • electrophysiological recording
  • electromagnetic brain mapping
  • independent component analysis
  • reading
  • language

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