Sensor space least squares regressionΒΆ

Predict single trial activity from a continuous variable. A single-trial regression is performed in each sensor and timepoint individually, resulting in an Evoked object which contains the regression coefficient (beta value) for each combination of sensor and timepoint. Example also shows the T statistics and the associated p-values.

Note that this example is for educational purposes and that the data used here do not contain any significant effect.

(See Hauk et al. (2006). The time course of visual word recognition as revealed by linear regression analysis of ERP data. Neuroimage.)

# Authors: Tal Linzen <>
#          Denis A. Engemann <>
# License: BSD (3-clause)

import numpy as np

import mne
from mne.datasets import sample
from mne.stats.regression import linear_regression


data_path = sample.data_path()

Set parameters and read data

raw_fname = data_path + '/MEG/sample/sample_audvis_filt-0-40_raw.fif'
event_fname = data_path + '/MEG/sample/sample_audvis_filt-0-40_raw-eve.fif'
tmin, tmax = -0.2, 0.5
event_id = dict(aud_l=1, aud_r=2)

# Setup for reading the raw data
raw =
events = mne.read_events(event_fname)

picks = mne.pick_types(, meg='mag', eeg=False, stim=False,
                       eog=False, exclude='bads')

# Reject some epochs based on amplitude
reject = dict(mag=5e-12)
epochs = mne.Epochs(raw, events, event_id, tmin, tmax, proj=True,
                    picks=picks, baseline=(None, 0), preload=True,

Run regression

names = ['intercept', 'trial-count']

intercept = np.ones((len(epochs),), dtype=np.float)
design_matrix = np.column_stack([intercept,  # intercept
                                 np.linspace(0, 1, len(intercept))])

# also accepts source estimates
lm = linear_regression(epochs, design_matrix, names)

def plot_topomap(x, unit):
    x.plot_topomap(ch_type='mag', scale=1, size=1.5, vmax=np.max,
                   unit=unit, times=np.linspace(0.1, 0.2, 5))

trial_count = lm['trial-count']

plot_topomap(trial_count.beta, unit='z (beta)')
plot_topomap(trial_count.t_val, unit='t')
plot_topomap(trial_count.mlog10_p_val, unit='-log10 p')
plot_topomap(trial_count.stderr, unit='z (error)')
  • ../../_images/sphx_glr_plot_sensor_regression_001.png
  • ../../_images/sphx_glr_plot_sensor_regression_002.png
  • ../../_images/sphx_glr_plot_sensor_regression_003.png
  • ../../_images/sphx_glr_plot_sensor_regression_004.png

Total running time of the script: (0 minutes 6.407 seconds)

Download Python source code: