Ictal source analysis: Localization and imaging of causal interactions in humans

Lei Ding, Gregory A. Worrell, Terrence D. Lagerlund, Bin He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations


We propose a new integrative approach to characterize the structure of seizures in the space, time, and frequency domains. Such characterization leads to a new technical development of ictal source analysis for the presurgical evaluation of epilepsy patients. The present new ictal source analysis method consists of three parts. First, a three-dimensional source scanning procedure is performed by a spatio-temporal FINE source localization method to locate the multiple sources responsible for the time evolving ictal rhythms at their onsets. Next, the dynamic behavior of the sources is modeled by a multivariate autoregressive process (MVAR). Lastly, the causal interaction patterns among the sources as a function of frequency are estimated from the MVAR modeling of the source temporal dynamics. The causal interaction patterns indicate the dynamic communications between sources, which are useful in distinguishing the primary sources responsible for the ictal onset from the secondary sources caused by the ictal propagation. The present ictal analysis strategy has been applied to a number of seizures from five epilepsy patients, and their results are consistent with observations from either MRI lesions or SPECT scans, which indicate its effectiveness. Each step of the ictal source analysis is statistically evaluated in order to guarantee the confidence in the results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-586
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2007


  • Causal interaction
  • EEG
  • Ictal source analysis
  • Interictal
  • Lesion
  • MRI
  • MVAR
  • Presurgical evaluation
  • Source localization
  • Statistical assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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