The precision in space and time of interactions among multiple cortical sites was evaluated by examining repeating precise spatiotemporal patterns of instances in which cortical currents showed brief amplitude undulations. The amplitudes of the cortical current dipoles were estimated by applying a variant of synthetic aperture magnetometry to magnetoencephalographic (MEG) recordings of subjects tapping to metric auditory rhythms of drum beats. Brief amplitude undulations were detected in the currents by template matching at a rate of 2-3 per second. Their timing was treated as point processes, and precise spatiotemporal patterns were searched for. By randomly teetering these point processes within a time window W, we estimated the accuracy of the timing of these brief amplitude undulations and compared the results with those obtained by applying the same analysis to traces composed of random numbers. The results demonstrated that the timing accuracy of patterns was better than 3 ms. Successful classification of two different cognitive processes based on these patterns suggests that at least some of the repeating patterns are specific to a cognitive process.
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© 2016 the American Physiological Society.
- Cortico-cortical interactions
- Temporal precision