The loss of complexity in ageing hypothesis (LOCH) has found support from EEG studies, most of which adopted signal-domain complexity measures. The present study adopted the largest Lyapunov exponent (LLE) to measure complexity from a nonlinear dynamical systems perspective. A total of 144 participants were included and divided into young, young-old and old-old groups. Both sensor-space and source-space results showed significantly lower LLE for older than younger adults. The age-related differences were region-dependent, being most prominent in the frontal region, followed by bilateral temporal regions. The occipital region showed non-significant differences. Significant reduction of LLE in the posterior cingulate was also observed by virtue of the source-space analysis. We also evaluated the relationships between LLE and other complexity measures. The most intriguing result was the negative correlation between LLE and Lempel-Ziv complexity (LZC). The age-related decrease in LLE indicated a higher regularity in dynamics, while the higher LZC indicated a higher randomness in the signal domain. The new findings support the LOCH by demonstrating the simultaneous increase in regularity and randomness.
- largest Lyapunov exponent
- resting state