Previous simulation and experimental studies have demonstrated that the application of Variational Bayesian Multimodal EncephaloGraphy (VBMEG) to magnetoencephalography (MEG) data can be used to estimate cortical currents with high spatio-temporal resolution, by incorporating functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) activity as a hierarchical prior. However, the use of combined MEG and fMRI is restricted by the high costs involved, a lack of portability and high sensitivity to body-motion artifacts. One possible solution for overcoming these limitations is to use a combination of electroencephalography (EEG) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). This study therefore aimed to extend the possible applications of VBMEG to include EEG data with NIRS activity as a hierarchical prior. Using computer simulations and real experimental data, we evaluated the performance of VBMEG applied to EEG data under different conditions, including different numbers of EEG sensors and different prior information. The results suggest that VBMEG with NIRS prior performs well, even with as few as 19 EEG sensors. These findings indicate the potential value of clinically applying VBMEG using a combination of EEG and NIRS.
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