Long-range temporal correlations in epileptogenic and non-epileptogenic human hippocampus

L. M. Parish, G. A. Worrell, S. D. Cranstoun, S. M. Stead, P. Pennell, B. Litt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Epileptogenic human hippocampus generates spontaneous energy fluctuations with a wide range of amplitude and temporal variation, which are often assumed to be entirely random. However, the temporal dynamics of these fluctuations are poorly understood, and the question of whether they exhibit persistent long-range temporal correlations (LRTC) remains unanswered. In this paper we use detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) to show that the energy fluctuations in human hippocampus show LRTC with power-law scaling, and that these correlations differ between epileptogenic and non-epileptogenic hippocampus. The analysis shows that the energy fluctuations exhibit slower decay of the correlations in the epileptogenic hippocampus compared with the non-epileptogenic hippocampus. The DFA-derived scaling exponents demonstrate that there are LRTC of energy fluctuations in human hippocampus, and that the temporal persistence of energy fluctuations is characterized by a bias for large (small) energy fluctuations to be followed by large (small) energy fluctuations. Furthermore, we find that in the period of time leading up to seizures there is no change in the scaling exponents that characterize the LRTC of energy fluctuations. The fact that the LRTC of energy fluctuations do not change as seizures approach provides evidence that the local neuronal network dynamics do not change in the period before seizures, and that seizures in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy may be triggered by an influence that is external to the hippocampus. The presence of LRTC with power-law scaling does not imply a specific mechanism, but the finding that temporal correlations decay more slowly in epileptogenic hippocampus provides electrophysiologic evidence that the underlying neuronal dynamics are different within the epileptogenic hippocampus compared with contralateral hippocampus. We briefly discuss possible neurobiological mechanisms for LRTC of the energy fluctuations in hippocampus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1069-1076
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2004


  • DFA
  • EEG
  • LRTC
  • MEG
  • MRI
  • detrended fluctuation analysis
  • electroencephalogram
  • epilepsy
  • long-range correlations
  • long-range temporal correlations
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • magnetoencephalogram
  • r.m.s.
  • scaling behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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