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Olaf Dimigen, Benedikt V. Ehinger; Regression-based analysis of combined EEG and eye-tracking data: Theory and applications. Journal of Vision 2021;21(1):3. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.21.1.3.
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Fixation-related potentials (FRPs), neural responses aligned to the end of saccades, are a promising tool for studying the dynamics of attention and cognition under natural viewing conditions. In the past, four methodological problems have complicated the analysis of such combined eye-tracking/electroencephalogram experiments: (1) the synchronization of data streams, (2) the removal of ocular artifacts, (3) the condition-specific temporal overlap between the brain responses evoked by consecutive fixations, and (4) the fact that numerous low-level stimulus and saccade properties also influence the postsaccadic neural responses. Although effective solutions exist for the first two problems, the latter two are only beginning to be addressed. In the current paper, we present and review a unified regression-based framework for FRP analysis that allows us to deconvolve overlapping potentials while also controlling for both linear and nonlinear confounds on the FRP waveform. An open software implementation is provided for all procedures. We then demonstrate the advantages of this proposed (non)linear deconvolution modeling approach for data from three commonly studied paradigms: face perception, scene viewing, and reading. First, for a traditional event-related potential (ERP) face recognition experiment, we show how this technique can separate stimulus ERPs from overlapping muscle and brain potentials produced by small (micro)saccades on the face. Second, in natural scene viewing, we model and isolate multiple nonlinear effects of saccade parameters on the FRP. Finally, for a natural sentence reading experiment using the boundary paradigm, we show how it is possible to study the neural correlates of parafoveal preview after removing spurious overlap effects caused by the associated difference in average fixation time. Our results suggest a principal way of measuring reliable eye movement-related
brain activity during natural vision.
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