Data_Sheet_1_Scale-Free Coupled Dynamics in Brain Networks Captured by Bivariate Focus-Based Multifractal Analysis.PDF
While most connectivity studies investigate functional connectivity (FC) in a scale-dependent manner, coupled neural processes may also exhibit broadband dynamics, manifesting as power-law scaling of their measures of interdependence. Here we introduce the bivariate focus-based multifractal (BFMF) analysis as a robust tool for capturing such scale-free relations and use resting-state electroencephalography (EEG) recordings of 12 subjects to demonstrate its performance in reconstructing physiological networks. BFMF was employed to characterize broadband FC between 62 cortical regions in a pairwise manner, with all investigated connections being tested for true bivariate multifractality. EEG channels were also grouped to represent the activity of six resting-state networks (RSNs) in the brain, thus allowing for the analysis of within- and between- RSNs connectivity, separately. Most connections featured true bivariate multifractality, which could be attributed to the genuine scale-free coupling of neural dynamics. Bivariate multifractality showed a characteristic topology over the cortex that was highly concordant among subjects. Long-term autocorrelation was higher in within-RSNs, while the degree of multifractality was generally found stronger in between-RSNs connections. These results offer statistical evidence of the bivariate multifractal nature of functional coupling in the brain and validate BFMF as a robust method to capture such scale-independent coupled dynamics.