Mutual Information in Frequency and Its Application to Measure Cross-Frequency Coupling in Epilepsy
Johnson, Don H.
Kalamangalam, Giridhar P.
We define a metric, mutual information in frequency (MI-in-frequency), to detect and quantify the statistical dependence between different frequency components in the data, referred to as cross-frequency coupling and apply it to electrophysiological recordings from the brain to infer cross-frequency coupling. The current metrics used to quantify the cross-frequency coupling in neuroscience cannot detect if two frequency components in non-Gaussian brain recordings are statistically independent or not. Our MI-in-frequency metric, based on Shannon's mutual information between the Cramér's representation of stochastic processes, overcomes this shortcoming and can detect statistical dependence in frequency between non-Gaussian signals. We then describe two data-driven estimators of MI-in-frequency: One based on kernel density estimation and the other based on the nearest neighbor algorithm and validate their performance on simulated data. We then use MI-in-frequency to estimate mutual information between two data streams that are dependent across time, without making any parametric model assumptions. Finally, we use the MI-in-frequency metric to investigate the cross-frequency coupling in seizure onset zone from electrocorticographic recordings during seizures. The inferred cross-frequency coupling characteristics are essential to optimize the spatial and spectral parameters of electrical stimulation based treatments of epilepsy.