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In NeuroImage ; h5-index 117.0

In recent years, EEG microstate analysis has attracted much attention as a tool for characterizing the spatial and temporal dynamics of large-scale electrophysiological activities in the human brain. Canonical 4 states (classes A, B, C, and D) have been widely reported, and they have been pointed out for their relationships with cognitive functions and several psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, in particular, through their static parameters such as average duration, occurrence, coverage, and transition probability. However, the relationships between event-related microstate changes and their related cognitive functions, as is often analyzed in event-related potentials under time-locked frameworks, is still not well understood. Furthermore, not enough attention has been paid to the relationship between microstate dynamics and static characteristics. To clarify the relationships between the static microstate parameters and dynamic microstate changes, and between the dynamics and working memory (WM) function, we first examined the temporal profiles of the microstates during the N-back task. We found significant event-related microstate dynamics that differed predominantly with WM loads, which were not clearly observed in the static parameters. Furthermore, in the 2-back condition, patterns of state transitions from class A to C in the high- and low-performance groups showed prominent differences at 50-300 ms after stimulus onset. We also confirmed that the transition patterns of the specific time periods were able to predict the performance level (low or high) in the 2-back condition at a significant level, where a specific transition between microstates, namely from class A to C with specific polarity, contributed to the prediction robustly. Taken together, our findings indicate that event-related microstate dynamics at 50-300 ms after onset may be essential for WM function. This suggests that event-related microstate dynamics can reflect more highly-refined brain functions.

Tamano Ryuta, Ogawa Takeshi, Katagiri Arisa, Cai Chang, Asai Tomohisa, Kawanabe Motoaki


EEG microstate, biomarker, cognitive function, event-related dynamics, machine learning, working memory