Rice scientists develop novel method to study brain connections in epilepsy A novel statistical approach to analyzing patients with epilepsy has revealed details about their brainsâ€™ internal networks. The findings may lead to better understanding and treatment of the disease, according to Rice University researchers. Rice statistician Marina Vannucci and lead author Sharon Chiang, an M.D./Ph.D. student at Rice and Baylor College of Medicine, and their co-authors detailed their technique to analyze brain activity data from patients with epilepsy and control groups to see how distinct structures in the brain spontaneously interact. The results showed differences in brain connectivity between the groups. In one instance, they showed structures that plan and then activate movement, which tend to interact in one direction in control subjects, may have abnormal bidirectional interactions in the brains of patients with temporal lobe epilepsy. The study appears in the journal Human Brain Mapping.