New algorithm was developed to characterize electrophysiological activity in subcortical structures in the human brain with MEG and EEG. Subcortical structures play a critical role in brain functions such as sensory perception, memory, emotion, and consciousness. There are limited options for assessing neuronal dynamics within subcortical structures in humans. Magnetoencephalography and electroencephalography can measure electromagnetic fields generated by subcortical activity. But localizing the sources of these fields is very difficult, because the fields generated by subcortical structures are small and cannot be distinguished from distributed cortical activity. Krishnaswamy et al describe an algorithm that uses sparsity in a hierarchical fashion to jointly localize cortical and subcortical sources, which offers alternative perspectives and tools for assessing subcortical brain dynamics in humans.
The paper was published by Krishnaswamy et al in PNAS. For more details, please have a look at: http://www.pnas.org/content/114/48/E10465.long