Mouth magnetoencephalography: A unique perspective on the human hippocampus

Tim M. Tierney, Andrew Levy, Daniel N. Barry, Sofie S. Meyer, Yoshihito Shigihara, Matt Everatt, Stephanie Mellor, Jose David Lopez, Sven Bestmann, Niall Holmes, Gillian Roberts, Ryan M Hill (+7 others)
2020 NeuroImage  
Traditional magnetoencephalographic (MEG) brain imaging scanners consist of a rigid sensor array surrounding the head; this means that they are maximally sensitive to superficial brain structures. New technology based on optical pumping means that we can now consider more flexible and creative sensor placement. Here we explored the magnetic fields generated by a model of the human hippocampus not only across scalp but also at the roof of the mouth. We found that simulated hippocampal sources
more » ... e rise to dipolar field patterns with one scalp surface field extremum at the temporal lobe and a corresponding maximum or minimum at the roof of the mouth. We then constructed a fitted dental mould to accommodate an Optically Pumped Magnetometer (OPM). We collected data using a previously validated hippocampal-dependent task to test the empirical utility of a mouth-based sensor, with an accompanying array of left and right temporal lobe OPMs. We found that the mouth sensor showed the greatest task-related theta power change. We found that this sensor had a mild effect on the reconstructed power in the hippocampus (∼10% change) but that coherence images between the mouth sensor and reconstructed source images showed a global maximum in the right hippocampus. We conclude that augmenting a scalp-based MEG array with sensors in the mouth shows unique promise for both basic scientists and clinicians interested in interrogating the hippocampus.
doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.117443 pmid:33059052 pmcid:PMC8214102 fatcat:qf2bvvdxvrcwha5ipvwi6fjlxm