Complexity of information processing in obsessive-compulsive disorder based on fractal analysis of EEG signal

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Saeid Yazdi-Ravandi
Dorsa Mohammadi Arezooji
Nasrin Matinnia
Farshid Shamsaei
Mohammad Ahmadpanah
Ali Ghaleiha
Reza Khosrowabadi

Abstract

The human brain is considered as a self-organizing system with self-similarities at various temporal and spatial scales called “fractals”. In this scale-free system, it is possible to decode the complexity of information processing using fractal behavior. For instance, the complexity of information processing in the brain can be evaluated by fractal dimensions (FDs). However, it is unclear how over-elaboration of information processing impacts the dimensionality of its fractal behavior. In this study, we hypothesized that FDs of electroencephalogram (EEG) in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) should be higher than healthy controls (HCs) because of exaggeration of information processing mainly in the frontal regions. Therefore, a group of 39 OCDs (age: 34.76±8.22, 25 female, 3 left-handed) and 19 HCs (age: 31.94±8.22, 11 female, 1 left-handed) were recruited and their brain activities were recorded using a 19-channel EEG recorder in the eyes-open resting-state condition. Subsequently, fractal dimensions of the cleaned EEG data were calculated using Katz’s method in a frequency band-specific manner. After the test of normality, significant changes in the OCDs as compared to the HCs were calculated using a two-sample t-test. OCDs showed higher FDs in the frontal regions in all frequency bands as compared to HCs. Although, significant increases were only observed in the beta and lower gamma bands, mainly at the high beta. Interestingly, neurophysiological findings also show association with severity of obsessive behaviors. The results demonstrate that complexity of information processing in the brain follows an intimate nature of structural and functional impairments of the brain in OCD.

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How to Cite
Yazdi-Ravandi, S., Mohammadi Arezooji, D., Matinnia, N., Shamsaei, F., Ahmadpanah, M., Ghaleiha, A., & Khosrowabadi, R. (2021). Complexity of information processing in obsessive-compulsive disorder based on fractal analysis of EEG signal. EXCLI Journal, 20, 642-654. https://doi.org/10.17179/excli2020-2783
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Original articles

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