4D-EEG: From brain signal propagation to functional understanding

Project aim

To identify/quantify and visualize signal propagation through the brain, we will develop a novel 4D-EEG technology which combines High-Density EEG, using minimally 64 electrodes, with tractography from diffusion MRI (dMRI) recordings and using dedicated small sensory perturbations. Goal of this project is to: 

  • validate the 4D-EEG method with fMRI, using a MRI compatible robot manipulator
  • further improve the 4D-EEG method by using periodical input (multisines) and more efficient computation
  • analyse the potential of an existing patient-friendly cap with dry electrodes to enable further clinical applications
  • show the clinical value by monitoring the recovery of stroke patients using an existing longitudinal data set.

Project summary

Stroke is already the leading cause of disabilities in adulthood, and the incidence of stroke is still rising. In the Netherlands alone, the costs of stroke are estimated at € 2.3 billion per year. To provide optimal rehabilitation care after a stroke, two key questions must be answered. First: "what is the potential of an individual patient for his / her recovery?" and second: "what is the best rehabilitation care that this patient should receive given this potential?" Without answering these questions, rehabilitation care remains empirical and not cost-effective, and it is impossible to design good clinical trials to prove the efficacy of treatment. Being able to distinguish well from patients early after a stroke based on their potential for recovery requires knowledge of underlying recovery processes. How neural networks adapt to the damage caused and repair themselves has recently been formulated by an international forum of scientists and clinicians (The Stroke Recovery and Rehabilitation Round Table Task Force) as a top priority in research into improving rehabilitation care after a stroke. The current project aims to force a breakthrough by making for the first time, real-time signal propagation visible, based on high density EEG recordings, from one area to the next, in the healthy brain and in a brain in which normal function is hampered by the stroke lesion. Fundamental understanding of the course of this signal transport after a stroke is the necessary foundation for tackling one of the most important challenges in health care, namely understanding and exploiting the adaptability of the brain (“neuroplasticity”) to enhance recovery after brain damage.

Partnering organisations

Key facts

Time frame: - 31.3.2023

Funding: Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMW)