For patients with medically intractable epilepsy
, there have been few effective alternatives to resective surgery, a destructive, irreversible treatment. A strategy receiving increased attention is using interictal spike patterns and continuous EEG measurements from epileptic patients to predict and ultimately control seizure activity via chemical or electrical control systems. This work compares results of seven linear and nonlinear
methods (analysis of power spectra, cross-correlation
, principal components, phase, wavelets, correlation
integral, and mutual prediction
) in detecting the earliest dynamical changes preceding 12 intracranially-recorded seizures from 4 patients. A method of counting standard deviations was used to compare across methods, and the earliest departures from thresholds determined from non-seizure EEG were compared to a neurologist's judgement. For these data, the nonlinear
methods offered no predictive advantage over the linear methods. All the methods described here were successful in detecting changes leading to a seizure between one and two minutes before the first changes noted by the neurologist, although analysis of phase correlation
proved the most robust. The success of phase analysis may be due in part to its complete insensitivity to amplitude, which may provide a significant source of error.