Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 186353, 8 pages
Research Article

Weighted Phase Lag Index and Graph Analysis: Preliminary Investigation of Functional Connectivity during Resting State in Children

1MEG Center, University of Tübingen, Germany
2Center of Mind/Brain Sciences (CIMeC), University of Trento, 38068 Rovereto, Italy
3Department of Cognitive and Educational Sciences (DiSCoF), University of Trento, 38068 Rovereto, Italy
4Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 72205, USA

Received 30 March 2012; Revised 27 June 2012; Accepted 28 July 2012

Academic Editor: Fabrizio De Vico Fallani

Copyright © 2012 Erick Ortiz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Resting state functional connectivity of MEG data was studied in 29 children (9-10 years old). The weighted phase lag index (WPLI) was employed for estimating connectivity and compared to coherence. To further evaluate the network structure, a graph analysis based on WPLI was used to determine clustering coefficient (C) and betweenness centrality (BC) as local coefficients as well as the characteristic path length (L) as a parameter for global interconnectedness. The network’s modular structure was also calculated to estimate functional segregation. A seed region was identified in the central occipital area based on the power distribution at the sensor level in the alpha band. WPLI reveals a specific connectivity map different from power and coherence. BC and modularity show a strong level of connectedness in the occipital area between lateral and central sensors. C shows different isolated areas of occipital sensors. Globally, a network with the shortest L is detected in the alpha band, consistently with the local results. Our results are in agreement with findings in adults, indicating a similar functional network in children at this age in the alpha band. The integrated use of WPLI and graph analysis can help to gain a better description of resting state networks.