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Brain network estimation from dense EEG signals : application to neurological disorders

Abstract : The human brain is a very complex network. Cerebral function therefore does not imply activation of isolated brain regions but instead involves distributed networks in the brain (Bassett and Sporns, 2017, McIntosh, 2000). Therefore, the analysis of the brain connectivity from neuroimaging data has an important role to understand cognitive functions (Sporns, 2010). Thanks to its excellent spatial resolution, fMRI has become one of the most common non-invasive methods used to study this connectivity. However, fMRI has a low temporal resolution which makes it very difficult to monitor the dynamics of brain networks. A considerable challenge in cognitive neuroscience is therefore the identification and monitoring of brain networks over short time durations(Hutchison et al., 2013), usually <1s for a picture naming task, for example. So far, few studies have addressed this issue which requires the use of techniques with a very high temporal resolution (of the order of the ms), which is the case for magneto- or electro-encephalography (MEG or EEG). However, the interpretation of connectivity measurements from recordings made at the level of the electrodes (scalp) is not simple because these recordings have low spatial resolution and their accuracy is impaired by volume conduction effects (Schoffelen and Gross, 2009). Thus, during recent years, the analysis of functional connectivity at the level of cortical sources reconstructed from scalp signals has been of increasing interest. The advantage of this method is to improve the spatial resolution, while maintaining the excellent resolution of EEG or MEG (Hassan et al., 2014; Hassan and Wendling, 2018; Schoffelen and Gross, 2009). However, the dynamic aspect has not been sufficiently exploited by this method. The first objective of this thesis is to show how the EEG connectivity approach source "makes it possible to follow the spatio-temporal dynamics of the cerebral networks involved either in a cognitive task or at rest. Moreover, recent studies have shown that neurological disorders are most often associated with abnormalities in cerebral connectivity that result in alterations in wide-scale brain networks involving remote regions (Fornito and Bullmore, 2014). This is particularly the case for epilepsy and neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's, Parkinson's) which constitute, according to WHO, a major issue of public health.In this context, the need is high for new methods capable of identifying Pathological networks, from easy to use and non-invasive techniques. This is the second objective of this thesis.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, December 4, 2018 - 10:34:53 AM
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Aya Kabbara. Brain network estimation from dense EEG signals : application to neurological disorders. Neurons and Cognition [q-bio.NC]. Université Rennes 1; Université libanaise, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018REN1S028⟩. ⟨tel-01943768⟩

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