Correlated components of ongoing EEG point to emotionally laden attention – a possible marker of engagement?
- 1 Department of Biomedical Engineering, City College of NewYork, NewYork, NY, USA
- 2 Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
Recent evidence from functional magnetic resonance imaging suggests that cortical hemodynamic responses coincide in different subjects experiencing a common naturalistic stimulus. Here we utilize neural responses in the electroencephalogram (EEG) evoked by multiple presentations of short film clips to index brain states marked by high levels of correlation within and across subjects. We formulate a novel signal decomposition method which extracts maximally correlated signal components from multiple EEG records. The resulting components capture correlations down to a one-second time resolution, thus revealing that peak correlations of neural activity across viewings can occur in remarkable correspondence with arousing moments of the film. Moreover, a significant reduction in neural correlation occurs upon a second viewing of the film or when the narrative is disrupted by presenting its scenes scrambled in time. We also probe oscillatory brain activity during periods of heightened correlation, and observe during such times a significant increase in the theta band for a frontal component and reductions in the alpha and beta frequency bands for parietal and occipital components. Low-resolution EEG tomography of these components suggests that the correlated neural activity is consistent with sources in the cingulate and orbitofrontal cortices. Put together, these results suggest that the observed synchrony reflects attention- and emotion-modulated cortical processing which may be decoded with high temporal resolution by extracting maximally correlated components of neural activity.
Keywords: electroencephalography, engagement, attention, canonical correlation analysis, brain reading
Citation: Dmochowski JP, Sajda P, Dias J and Parra LC (2012) Correlated components of ongoing EEG point to emotionally laden attention – a possible marker of engagement? Front. Hum. Neurosci. 6:112. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00112
Received: 08 February 2012; Paper pending published: 29 March 2012;
Accepted: 13 April 2012; Published online: 16 May 2012.
Copyright: © 2012 Dmochowski, Sajda, Dias and Parra. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited.
*Correspondence: Jacek P. Dmochowski and Lucas C. Parra, Department of Biomedical Engineering, City College of New York 160 Convent Avenue, New York, NY 10031, USA. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com