Summary: A new open-source computer program can create visual and quantitative representations of neural activity in lab animals. Researchers hope others will utilize the program to help develop countermeasures for opioid use disorder.
Source: University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Researchers at UT have developed a free open source computer program that can be used to create visual and quantitative representations of brain electrical activity in laboratory animals in hopes of developing countermeasures for opioid use disorder.
The program is described in a paper published in JoVE. Lead author Christopher O’Brien is a UT graduate who manages the research laboratory of Helen Baghdoyan and Ralph Lydic, both co-authors on the paper and professors in UT’s Department of Psychology and the Graduate School of Medicine’s Department of Anesthesiology.
In the paper, the researchers describe the steps they took to create a multitapered spectrogram for electroencephalogram (EEG) analyses with an accessible and user-friendly code. They validated the program through analyses of EEG spectrograms of mice that had received different opioid treatments.
“There is a misconception that opioids promote sleep, but in quantitative studies of states of sleep and wakefulness using electroencephalographic recordings of brain waves, opiates are shown to disrupt sleep,” Lydic said. “Additionally, drug addiction studies show that abnormal sleep is associated with increased likelihood of addiction relapse.”
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Karen Dunlap – University of Tennessee at Knoxville
The image is credited to University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
Original Research: Open access
“Computer-based Multitaper Spectrogram Program for Electroencephalographic Data”. Christopher B. O’Brien, Helen A. Baghdoyan, Ralph Lydic.
Computer-based Multitaper Spectrogram Program for Electroencephalographic Data
Current web resources provide limited, user friendly tools to compute spectrograms for visualizing and quantifying electroencephalographic (EEG) data. This paper describes a Windows-based, open source code for creating EEG multitaper spectrograms. The compiled program is accessible to Windows users without software licensing. For Macintosh users, the program is limited to those with a MATLAB software license. The program is illustrated via EEG spectrograms that vary as a function of states of sleep and wakefulness, and opiate-induced alterations in those states. The EEGs of C57BL/6J mice were wirelessly recorded for 4 h after intraperitoneal injection of saline (vehicle control) and antinociceptive doses of morphine, buprenorphine, and fentanyl. Spectrograms showed that buprenorphine and morphine caused similar changes in EEG power at 1−3 Hz and 8−9 Hz. Spectrograms after administration of fentanyl revealed maximal average power bands at 3 Hz and 7 Hz. The spectrograms unmasked differential opiate effects on EEG frequency and power. These computer-based methods are generalizable across drug classes and can be readily modified to quantify and display a wide range of rhythmic biological signals.