[FieldTrip] Granger Causality with ft_connectivity_analysis

Helen Wieffering helen.wieffering at gmail.com
Wed Oct 7 16:59:21 CEST 2015

Dear FieldTrip users,

I'm writing to see if any one out there has had success with computing
Granger causality measures in FieldTrip. We have been working toward making
this analysis possible with our EEG data and have now reached the final

However, we find that ft_connectivity_analysis (and ft_connectivity_granger
for that matter) offers little guidance on how to achieve a good mvar model
fit. For example, the function asks the user to specify the model order
without offering tests for whiteness, stationarity, or consistency. It
seems that Fieldtrip calls on the BSMART toolbox to perform these
operations, which further confuses me given that BSMART itself offers these
model validation tests. Yet they don't seem to ever be called upon by

We've considered using the BSMART toolbox separately from FieldTrip, yet
the toolbox website is rather outdated and the functions are only
compatible through 2008 Matlab - seems like a headache. But without tools
for validating the mvar model, we can't be confident of any GC results
achieved through FieldTrip.

Are there perhaps further connectivity tools in FieldTrip that I've
overlooked? Or is it worth looking into other toolboxes? We've also
considered SIFT and the MVGC toolbox, but would love to keep working with
FieldTrip if possible.

If anyone can offer advice, or connect me with someone knowledgeable in
this area, I'd love to know.

Thanks very much,

Helen Wieffering
Bowdoin College
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