[Eeglablist] triangular / sawtooth / zig-zag pattern in spectral data

Andreas Widmann widmann at uni-leipzig.de
Tue May 13 02:01:09 PDT 2014


Hi Peter,

> I think sometimes demeaning based on the full continuous data might not work if there's an abrupt shift in offset somewhere in the data - the abrupt shift means the data either side of the shift isn't centred on zero as it should be after subtraction of the mean.
How do you import your BioSemi data? The bdfimport plugin does not import discontinuity/boundary triggers or CMS out of range triggers (https://sccn.ucsd.edu/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=1373). In case you have breaks and/or CMS out of range epochs in your recordings the effect well described by Matt will occur. Demeaning will not help. BioSemi recordings including breaks and imported with the bdfimport plugin must not be filtered.

Best,
Andreas

Am 12.05.2014 um 20:31 schrieb Matt Craddock <matt.craddock at uni-leipzig.de>:

> On 12/05/2014 18:53, Bachman, Peter wrote:
>> Hi everyone,
>> 
>> 
>> When I plot spectral data from continuous EEG, the resulting
>> Power-by-Frequency graph looks very strange.  Specifically, starting at
>> about 5 Hz and continuing on to higher frequencies, the plots for each
>> channel have a repeating triangular, or sawtooth-like, or zig-zag shape.
>> 
>> 
>> Here is a Dropbox link to an image of representative data:
>> https://www.dropbox.com/s/lddxgzlti9m20vj/FFT_triangle_pattern.JPG
>> 
>> 
>> It looks like some kind of wacky filter has been applied, but the only
>> filter in the processing pipeline is a very conventional 0.16-100 Hz
>> bandpass.
>> 
>> 
>> The problem isn't a feature of the raw data itself, because opening the
>> same continuous data in different EEG analysis programs and applying a
>> FFT produces very normal looking spectra.  This happens across different
>> versions of EEGLAB, Matlab, and Windows.
>> 
>> 
>> The continuous data were recorded using a Biosemi system and saved in
>> .bdf format.
>> 
>> 
>> Has anyone run into this before?  I’d be very grateful for any suggestions.
>> 
>> 
>> Thanks!
>> 
>> Pete
>> 
>> 
> 
> Hi Pete,
> 
> This is typical with Biosemi. Here's an old post from Bradley Voytek about this very issue:
> 
> http://sccn.ucsd.edu/pipermail/eeglablist/2008/002229.html
> 
> It's probably some sort of rounding error somewhere down the line. He suggests removing the mean from each channel during import. I tried that and it didn't solve the issue; I think sometimes demeaning based on the full continuous data might not work if there's an abrupt shift in offset somewhere in the data - the abrupt shift means the data either side of the shift isn't centred on zero as it should be after subtraction of the mean. Anyway, if you're planning on epoching the data, baseline correction will also solve the problem, in my experience.
> 
> Cheers,
> Matt
> 
> -- 
> Dr. Matt Craddock
> Research Fellow
> Institute of Psychological Sciences
> University of Leeds
> 
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