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Evaluation of realistic layouts for next generation on-scalp MEG: spatial information density maps

Journal article
Authors Bushra Riaz
C. Pfeiffer
Justin F. Schneiderman
Published in Scientific Reports
Volume 7
ISSN 2045-2322
Publication year 2017
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Language en
Links doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-07046-6
Keywords MULTICHANNEL ATOMIC MAGNETOMETER, SURFACE-BASED ANALYSIS, BIOMAGNETIC, MEASUREMENTS, MAGNETIC-FIELDS, LIQUID-NITROGEN, EEG DATA, MAGNETOENCEPHALOGRAPHY, BRAIN, RESOLUTION, SYSTEM
Subject categories Neurosciences

Abstract

While commercial magnetoencephalography (MEG) systems are the functional neuroimaging stateof- the-art in terms of spatio-temporal resolution, MEG sensors have not changed significantly since the 1990s. Interest in newer sensors that operate at less extreme temperatures, e.g., high critical temperature (high-Tc) SQUIDs, optically-pumped magnetometers, etc., is growing because they enable significant reductions in head-to-sensor standoff (on-scalp MEG). Various metrics quantify the advantages of on-scalp MEG, but a single straightforward one is lacking. Previous works have furthermore been limited to arbitrary and/or unrealistic sensor layouts. We introduce spatial information density (SID) maps for quantitative and qualitative evaluations of sensor arrays. SID-maps present the spatial distribution of information a sensor array extracts from a source space while accounting for relevant source and sensor parameters. We use it in a systematic comparison of three practical on-scalp MEG sensor array layouts (based on high-Tc SQUIDs) and the standard Elekta Neuromag TRIUX magnetometer array. Results strengthen the case for on-scalp and specifically high-Tc SQUID-based MEG while providing a path for the practical design of future MEG systems. SID-maps are furthermore general to arbitrary magnetic sensor technologies and source spaces and can thus be used for design and evaluation of sensor arrays for magnetocardiography, magnetic particle imaging, etc.

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