Cognitive Neurodynamics

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 99–111 | Cite as

Children with well controlled epilepsy possess different spatio-temporal patterns of causal network connectivity during a visual working memory task

  • Foteini Protopapa
  • Constantinos I. Siettos
  • Ivan Myatchin
  • Lieven Lagae
Research Article


Using spectral Granger causality (GC) we identified distinct spatio-temporal causal connectivity (CC) patterns in groups of control and epileptic children during the execution of a one-back matching visual discrimination working memory task. Differences between control and epileptic groups were determined for both GO and NOGO conditions. The analysis was performed on a set of 19-channel EEG cortical activity signals. We show that for the GO task, the highest brain activity in terms of the density of the CC networks is observed in α band for the control group while for the epileptic group the CC network seems disrupted as reflected by the small number of connections. For the NOGO task, the denser CC network was observed in θ band for the control group while widespread differences between the control and the epileptic group were located bilaterally at the left temporal-midline and parietal areas. In order to test the discriminative power of our analysis, we performed a pattern analysis approach based on fuzzy classification techniques. The performance of the classification scheme was evaluated using permutation tests. The analysis demonstrated that, on average, 87.6 % of the subjects were correctly classified in control and epileptic. Thus, our findings may provide a helpful insight on the mechanisms pertaining to the cognitive response of children with well controlled epilepsy and could potentially serve as “functional” biomarkers for early diagnosis.


Working memory Epilepsy Children Spectral Granger causality Causal connectivity networks EEG Classification Early diagnosis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Foteini Protopapa
    • 1
  • Constantinos I. Siettos
    • 1
  • Ivan Myatchin
    • 2
  • Lieven Lagae
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Applied Mathematics and Physical SciencesNational Technical University of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.Department of Woman and Child, Section Paediatric NeurologyK.U. LeuvenLouvainBelgium

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