Higher-order spectral analysis of burst patterns in EEG

J. Muthuswamy, D. L. Sherman, N. V. Thakor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Burst suppression patterns in electroencephalograms (EEG's) have been observed in a variety of situations including recovery of a subject from a traumatic brain injury. They are associated with grave prognostic outcomes in neonates. We study power spectral parameters and bispectral parameters of the EEG at baseline, during early recovery from an asphyxic arrest (EEG burst patterns) and during late recovery after EEG evolves into a more continuous activity. The bicoherence indexes, which indicate the degree of phase coupling between two frequency components of a signal, are significantly higher within the δ-Θ band of the EEG bursts than in the baseline or late recovery waveforms. The bispectral parameters show a more detectable trend than the power spectral parameters. In the second part of the study, we looked into the possibility of higher (>2) -order nonlinearities in the EEG bursts using the diagonal slices of the polyspectrum. The diagonal elements of the polyspectrum reveal the presence of self-frequency and self-phase coupling of orders higher than two in majority of the EEG bursts studied. The bicoherence indexes and the diagonal elements of the polyspectrum strongly indicate the presence of nonlinearities of order two and in many cases higher, in the EEG generator during episodes of bursting. This indication of nonlinearity in EEG signals provides a novel quantitative measure of brain's response to injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-99
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Burst-suppression
  • EEG
  • Nonlinearity and selfcoupling
  • Polyspectrum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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