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Improved method for retinotopy constrained source estimation of visual-evoked responses



Retinotopy constrained source estimation (RCSE) is a method for noninvasively measuring the time courses of activation in early visual areas using magnetoencephalography (MEG) or electroencephalography (EEG). Unlike conventional equivalent current dipole or distributed source models, the use of multiple, retinotopically mapped stimulus locations to simultaneously constrain the solutions allows for the estimation of independent waveforms for visual areas V1, V2, and V3, despite their close proximity to each other. We describe modifications that improve the reliability and efficiency of this method. First, we find that increasing the number and size of visual stimuli results in source estimates that are less susceptible to noise. Second, to create a more accurate forward solution, we have explicitly modeled the cortical point spread of individual visual stimuli. Dipoles are represented as extended patches on the cortical surface, which take into account the estimated receptive field size at each location in V1, V2, and V3 as well as the contributions from contralateral, ipsilateral, dorsal, and ventral portions of the visual areas. Third, we implemented a map fitting procedure to deform a template to match individual subject retinotopic maps derived from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). This improves the efficiency of the overall method by allowing automated dipole selection, and it makes the results less sensitive to physiological noise in fMRI retinotopy data. Finally, the iteratively reweighted least squares (IRLS) method was used to reduce the contribution from stimulus locations with high residual error for robust estimation of visual evoked responses. Hum Brain Mapp, 2013. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.