Evaluation of cortical local field potential diffusion in stereotactic electro-encephalography recordings: A glimpse on white matter signal

Manuel R. Mercier, Stephan Bickel, Pierre Megevand, David M. Groppe, Charles E. Schroeder, Ashesh D. Mehta, Fred A. Lado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


While there is a strong interest in meso-scale field potential recording using intracranial electroencephalography with penetrating depth electrodes (i.e. stereotactic EEG or S-EEG) in humans, the signal recorded in the white matter remains ignored. White matter is generally considered electrically neutral and often included in the reference montage. Moreover, re-referencing electrophysiological data is a critical preprocessing choice that could drastically impact signal content and consequently the results of any given analysis. In the present stereotactic electroencephalography study, we first illustrate empirically the consequences of commonly used references (subdermal, white matter, global average, local montage) on inter-electrode signal correlation. Since most of these reference montages incorporate white matter signal, we next consider the difference between signals recorded in cortical gray matter and white matter. Our results reveal that electrode contacts located in the white matter record a mixture of activity, with part arising from the volume conduction (zero time delay) of activity from nearby gray matter. Furthermore, our analysis shows that white matter signal may be correlated with distant gray matter signal. While residual passive electrical spread from nearby matter may account for this relationship, our results suggest the possibility that this long distance correlation arises from the white matter fiber tracts themselves (i.e. activity from distant gray matter traveling along axonal fibers with time lag larger than zero); yet definitive conclusions about the origin of the white matter signal would require further experimental substantiation. By characterizing the properties of signals recorded in white matter and in gray matter, this study illustrates the importance of including anatomical prior knowledge when analyzing S-EEG data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-232
Number of pages14
StatePublished - Feb 15 2017


  • Brain state
  • Epilepsy
  • Gray matter
  • Intracranial reference
  • Stereotactic electroencephalography
  • White matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluation of cortical local field potential diffusion in stereotactic electro-encephalography recordings: A glimpse on white matter signal'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this