Information flow and application to epileptogenic focus localization from intracranial EEG

Shivkumar Sabesan, Levi B. Good, Konstantinos S. Tsakalis, Andreas Spanias, David M. Treiman, Leon D. Iasemidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Transfer entropy (${\rm TE}$) is a recently proposed measure of the information flow between coupled linear or nonlinear systems. In this study, we suggest improvements in the selection of parameters for the estimation of ${\rm TE}$ that significantly enhance its accuracy and robustness in identifying the direction and the level of information flow between observed data series generated by coupled complex systems. We show the application of the improved ${\rm TE}$ method to long (in the order of days; approximately a total of 600 h across all patients), continuous, intracranial electroencephalograms (EEG) recorded in two different medical centers from four patients with focal temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) for localization of their foci. All patients underwent ablative surgery of their clinically assessed foci. Based on a surrogate statistical analysis of the ${\rm TE}$ results, it is shown that the identified potential focal sites through the suggested analysis were in agreement with the clinically assessed sites of the epileptogenic focus in all patients analyzed. It is noteworthy that the analysis was conducted on the available whole-duration multielectrode EEG, that is, without any subjective prior selection of EEG segments or electrodes for analysis. The above, in conjunction with the use of surrogate data, make the results of this analysis robust. These findings suggest a critical role ${\rm TE}$ may play in epilepsy research in general, and as a tool for robust localization of the epileptogenic focus/foci in patients with focal epilepsy in particular.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-253
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • Epilepsy
  • Epileptogenic focus localization
  • Information flow
  • Transfer entropy (TE)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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