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Entropic measures of connectivity with an application to intracerebral epileptic signals

Abstract : The work presented in this thesis deals with brain connectivity, including structural connectivity, functional connectivity and effective connectivity. These three types of connectivities are obviously linked, and their joint analysis can give us a better understanding on how brain structures and functions constrain each other. Our research particularly focuses on effective connectivity that defines connectivity graphs with information on causal links that may be direct or indirect, unidirectional or bidirectional. The main purpose of our work is to identify interactions between different brain areas from intracerebral recordings during the generation and propagation of seizure onsets, a major issue in the pre-surgical phase of epilepsy surgery treatment. Exploring effective connectivity generally follows two kinds of approaches, model-based techniques and data-driven ones. In this work, we address the question of improving the estimation of information-theoretic quantities, mainly mutual information and transfer entropy, based on k-Nearest Neighbors techniques. The proposed approaches we developed are first evaluated and compared with existing estimators on simulated signals including white noise processes, linear and nonlinear vectorial autoregressive processes, as well as realistic physiology-based models. Some of them are then applied on intracerebral electroencephalographic signals recorded on an epileptic patient, and compared with the well-known directed transfer function. The experimental results show that the proposed techniques improve the estimation of information-theoretic quantities for simulated signals, while the analysis is more difficult in real situations. Globally, the different estimators appear coherent and in accordance with the ground truth given by the clinical experts, the directed transfer function leading to interesting performance.
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Submitted on : Thursday, September 1, 2016 - 5:02:07 PM
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Jie Zhu. Entropic measures of connectivity with an application to intracerebral epileptic signals. Signal and Image processing. Université Rennes 1, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016REN1S006⟩. ⟨tel-01359072⟩

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