Optimal Model Parameter Estimation from EEG Power Spectrum Features Observed during General Anesthesia.

PMID 29516302


Mathematical modeling is a powerful tool that enables researchers to describe the experimentally observed dynamics of complex systems. Starting with a robust model including model parameters, it is necessary to choose an appropriate set of model parameters to reproduce experimental data. However, estimating an optimal solution of the inverse problem, i.e., finding a set of model parameters that yields the best possible fit to the experimental data, is a very challenging problem. In the present work, we use different optimization algorithms based on a frequentist approach, as well as Monte Carlo Markov Chain methods based on Bayesian inference techniques to solve the considered inverse problems. We first probe two case studies with synthetic data and study models described by a stochastic non-delayed linear second-order differential equation and a stochastic linear delay differential equation. In a third case study, a thalamo-cortical neural mass model is fitted to the EEG spectral power measured during general anesthesia induced by anesthetics propofol and desflurane. We show that the proposed neural mass model fits very well to the observed EEG power spectra, particularly to the power spectral peaks within δ - (0 - 4 Hz) and α - (8 - 13 Hz) frequency ranges. Furthermore, for each case study, we perform a practical identifiability analysis by estimating the confidence regions of the parameter estimates and interpret the corresponding correlation and sensitivity matrices. Our results indicate that estimating the model parameters from analytically computed spectral power, we are able to accurately estimate the unknown parameters while avoiding the computational costs due to numerical integration of the model equations.

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