Topographic time-frequency decomposition of the EEG

König, Thomas; Marti-Lopez, F.; Valdes-Sosa, P. (2001). Topographic time-frequency decomposition of the EEG. NeuroImage, 14(2), pp. 383-390. Elsevier 10.1006/nimg.2001.0825

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Frequency-transformed EEG resting data has been widely used to describe normal and abnormal brain functional states as function of the spectral power in different frequency bands. This has yielded a series of clinically relevant findings. However, by transforming the EEG into the frequency domain, the initially excellent time resolution of time-domain EEG is lost. The topographic time-frequency decomposition is a novel computerized EEG analysis method that combines previously available techniques from time-domain spatial EEG analysis and time-frequency decomposition of single-channel time series. It yields a new, physiologically and statistically plausible topographic time-frequency representation of human multichannel EEG. The original EEG is accounted by the coefficients of a large set of user defined EEG like time-series, which are optimized for maximal spatial smoothness and minimal norm. These coefficients are then reduced to a small number of model scalp field configurations, which vary in intensity as a function of time and frequency. The result is thus a small number of EEG field configurations, each with a corresponding time-frequency (Wigner) plot. The method has several advantages: It does not assume that the data is composed of orthogonal elements, it does not assume stationarity, it produces topographical maps and it allows to include user-defined, specific EEG elements, such as spike and wave patterns. After a formal introduction of the method, several examples are given, which include artificial data and multichannel EEG during different physiological and pathological conditions.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Psychiatric Neurophysiology [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

König, Thomas


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology








Thomas König

Date Deposited:

08 Jan 2014 09:50

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:27

Publisher DOI:





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