The purpose of this study was to introduce an improved tool for automated classification of event-related potentials (ERPs) using spatiotemporally parcellated events incorporated into a functional brain network activation (BNA) analysis. The auditory oddball ERP paradigm was selected to demonstrate and evaluate the improved tool. Methods: The ERPs of each subject were decomposed into major dynamic spatiotemporal events. Then, a set of spatiotemporal events representing the group was generated by aligning and clustering the spatiotemporal events of all individual subjects. The temporal relationship between the common group events generated a network, which is the spatiotemporal reference BNA model. Scores were derived by comparing each subject's spatiotemporal events to the reference BNA model and were then entered into a support vector machine classifier to classify subjects into relevant subgroups. The reliability of the BNA scores (test-retest repeatability using intraclass correlation) and their utility as a classification tool were examined in the context of Target-Novel classification. Results: BNA intraclass correlation values of repeatability ranged between 0.51 and 0.82 for the known ERP components N100, P200, and P300. Classification accuracy was high when the trained data were validated on the same subjects for different visits (AUCs 0.93 and 0.95). The classification accuracy remained high for a test group recorded at a different clinical center with a different recording system (AUCs 0.81, 0.85 for 2 visits). Conclusion: The improved spatiotemporal BNA analysis demonstrates high classification accuracy. The BNA analysis method holds promise as a tool for diagnosis, follow-up and drug development associated with different neurological conditions.
- Functional connectivity
- Machine learning