Hypothesis test for synchronization: Twin surrogates revisited

M Carmen Romano , Marco Thiel, Jurgen Kurths, Konstantin Mergenthaler, Ralf Engbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The method of twin surrogates has been introduced to test for phase synchronization of complex systems in the case of passive experiments. In this paper we derive new analytical expressions for the number of twins depending on the size of the neighborhood, as well as on the length of the trajectory. This allows us to determine the optimal parameters for the generation of twin surrogates. Furthermore, we determine the quality of the twin surrogates with respect to several linear and nonlinear statistics depending on the parameters of the method. In the second part of the paper we perform a hypothesis test for phase synchronization in the case of experimental data from fixational eye movements. These miniature eye movements have been shown to play a central role in neural information processing underlying the perception of static visual scenes. The high number of data sets (21 subjects and 30 trials per person) allows us to compare the generated twin surrogates with the “natural” surrogates that correspond to the different trials. We show that the generated twin surrogates reproduce very well all linear and nonlinear characteristics of the underlying experimental system. The synchronization analysis of fixational eye movements by means of twin surrogates reveals that the synchronization between the left and right eye is significant, indicating that either the centers in the brain stem generating fixational eye movements are closely linked, or, alternatively that there is only one center controlling both eyes.
© 2009 American Institute of Physics
Original languageEnglish
Article number015108
Number of pages14
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2009


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