Periodicity is commonly observed in EEG signals. For example, oscillations in the alpha frequency range (approximately 8-13 Hz) were one of the first signals observed in the human EEG. One method of analysing this periodicity is to calculate the Power Spectral Density using a method such as Welch’s FFT.

Frequency analysis

In eegUtils, this can be achieved using compute_psd() and plot_psd(). With epoched data, compute_psd() calculates the PSD for each trial separately. compute_psd() returns a data.frame with spectral power at each resolved frequency and for each electrode. Note that plot_psd() can be called directly on eeg_data or eeg_epochs objects without first having to compute_psd(). With epoched data, it will average over epochs before plotting.

Time-frequency analysis

Frequency analysis necessarily discards temporal information. One problem is that it assumes stationarity - that the signal remains stable in terms of frequency and power across the whole analysed time window. However, this is rarely the case with EEG data;

Time-frequency analysis is a method of accounting for non-stationarity by decomposing the signal using a moving-window analysis, tiling the time-frequency space to resolve power over relatively shorter time-windows.

In eegUtils, compute_tfr() can be used to calculate a time-frequency representation of eeg_epochs(). Currently, this is achieved using Morlet wavelets. Morlet wavelets are used to window the signal, controlling spectral leakage and time-frequency specificity. Morlet wavelets have a user-defined temporal extent, which in turn determines the frequency extent. We define the temporal extent of our wavelets by cycles; we define it as an integer number of cycles at each frequency of interest.

Note that the characteristics of the wavelets, in terms of temporal and frequency standard deviations, are stored inside the object:

The results of the time-frequency transformation can be plotted using the plot_tfr() function.


Baseline correction is common in the literature. Several different methods are possible, both for plotting only, and as a modification to the object using rm_baseline.

plot_tfr(demo_tfr, baseline_type = "absolute", baseline = c(-.1, 0))

plot_tfr(demo_tfr, baseline_type = "db", baseline = c(-.1, 0))