loading page

Comparison of EEG source localization using simplified and anatomically accurate head models in younger and older adults
  • +9
  • Chang Liu ,
  • Ryan Downey ,
  • Yiru Mu ,
  • Natalie Richer ,
  • Jungyun Hwang ,
  • Valay A. Shah ,
  • Sumire D. Sato ,
  • David J. Clark ,
  • Chris J. Hass ,
  • Todd M. Manini ,
  • Rachael D. Seidler ,
  • Daniel P. Ferris
Chang Liu
University of Florida

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Ryan Downey
Author Profile
Natalie Richer
Author Profile
Jungyun Hwang
Author Profile
Valay A. Shah
Author Profile
Sumire D. Sato
Author Profile
David J. Clark
Author Profile
Chris J. Hass
Author Profile
Todd M. Manini
Author Profile
Rachael D. Seidler
Author Profile
Daniel P. Ferris
Author Profile


Accuracy of electroencephalography (EEG) source localization relies on the volume conduction head model. A previous analysis of young adults has shown that simplified head models have larger source localization errors when compared with head models based on magnetic resonance images (MRIs). As obtaining individual MRIs may not always be feasible, researchers often use generic head models based on template MRIs. It is unclear how much error would be introduced using template MRI head models in older adults that likely have differences in brain structure compared to young adults. The primary goal of this study was to determine the error caused by using simplified head models without individual-specific MRIs in both younger and older adults. We collected high-density EEG during uneven terrain walking and motor imagery for 15 younger (22±3 years) and 21 older adults (74±5 years) and obtained T1-weighted MRI for each individual. We performed equivalent dipole fitting after independent component analysis to obtain brain source locations using four forward modeling pipelines with increasing complexity. These pipelines included: 1) a generic head model with template electrode positions or 2) digitized electrode positions, 3) individual-specific head models with digitized electrode positions using simplified tissue segmentation, or 4) anatomically accurate segmentation. We found that when compared to the anatomically accurate individual-specific head models, performing dipole fitting with generic head models led to similar source localization discrepancies (up to 2 cm) for younger and older adults. Co-registering digitized electrode locations to the generic head models reduced source localization discrepancies by ~6 mm. Additionally, we found that source depths generally increased with skull conductivity for the representative young adult but not as much for the older adult. Our results can help inform a more accurate interpretation of brain areas in EEG studies when individual MRIs are unavailable.
2023Published in IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering volume 31 on pages 2591-2602. 10.1109/TNSRE.2023.3281356