On the time resolution of event-related desynchronization: A simulation study

TR Knösche, MCM Bastiaansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


To investigate the time resolution of different methods for the computation of event-related desynchronization/synchronization (ERD/ERS), including one based on Hilbert transform.

In order to better understand the time resolution of ERD/ERS, which is a function of factors such as the exact computation method, the frequency under study, the number of trials, and the sampling frequency, we simulated sudden changes in oscillation amplitude as well as very short and closely spaced events.

Hilbert-based ERD yields very similar results to ERD integrated over predefined time intervals (block ERD), if the block length is half the period length of the studied frequency. ERD predicts the onset of a change in oscillation amplitude with an error margin of only 10–30 ms. On the other hand, the time the ERD response needs to climb to its full height after a sudden change in oscillation amplitude is quite long, i.e. between 200 and 500 ms. With respect to sensitivity to short oscillatory events, the ratio between sampling frequency and electroencephalographic frequency band plays a major role.

(1) The optimal time interval for the computation of block ERD is half a period of the frequency under investigation. (2) Due to the slow impulse response, amplitude effects in the ERD may in reality be caused by duration differences. (3) Although ERD based on the Hilbert transform does not yield any significant advantages over classical ERD in terms of time resolution, it has some important practical advantages.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)754-763
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

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