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Spectral and other time/frequency analyses

Methods for spectral and other time/frequency analyses, including power spectral density estimation

Command Description
PSD Welch's method for power spectral density estimation
MTM Multi-taper method for power spectral density estimation
MSE Multi-scale entropy statistics
LZW LZW compression (information content) index
HILBERT Hilbert transform
CWT Continuous wavelet transform
CWT-DESIGN Complex Morlet wavelet properties
1FNORM Remove the 1/f trend from a signal
TV Total variation denoiser
ACF Autocorrelation function


Estimates a signal's power spectral density (PSD)

This command uses Welch's method to estimate power spectra and band power for one or more signals. As well as estimates for the entire signal (possibly following masking, etc), this command optionally provides epoch-level estimates.

Internally, this command operates on an epoch-by-epoch basis: e.g. taking 30 seconds of signal, and using Welch's method of overlapping windows (by default, 4-second windows with 2-second overlap) to estimate the power spectra via FFT. By default, intervals are windowed using a 50% tapered Tukey window, although Hann and Hamming windows can also be specified. If epoch-level output is requested, e.g. with the epoch option, then these spectra are also written to the output database. The overall estimate of the PSD is the average of the epoch-level estimates.

Parameter Example Description
spectrum spectrum Estimate power spectra as well as band power
max max=30 Upper frequency range to report for spectra (default is 20 Hz)
epoch epoch Output epoch-level band power estimates
epoch-spectrum epoch-spectrum Output epoch-level power spectra
dB dB Give power in dB units
peaks peaks Reports statistics on extreme peaks/spikes in the PSD

In addition to the primary parameters above, there are a number of other, more detailed parameters (that can probably be ignored by most users), as described in this table:

Parameter Example Description
segment-sec segment-sec=8 Set window size for Welch's method (default is 4 seconds)
segment-overlap segment-overlap=4 Set window overlap for Welch's method (default is 2 seconds)
center center First mean-center each epoch (or centre)
no-average no-average Do not average adjacent points in the power spectra
tukey50 tukey50 Apply Tukey 50% window (default)
hann hann Apply a Hann window function
hamming hamming Apply a Hamming window function
no-window no-window Do not apply any window function


If the EPOCH size is set to a small value (i.e. under 4 seconds) you will need to adjust the parameters of Welch's method accordingly.

Cache options
Parameter Example Description
cache-metrics cache-metrics=c1 Cache PSD by F and CH (e.g. for PSC)
Band definitions

Luna uses the following band definitions:

  • SLOW (0.5 to 1 Hz)
  • DELTA (1-4 Hz)
  • THETA (4-8 Hz)
  • ALPHA (8-12 Hz)
  • SIGMA (12-15 Hz)
  • BETA (15-30 Hz)
  • GAMMA (30+ Hz).


These can be modified by setting special variables either via the command-line or in a parameter file.

In addition, SLOW_SIGMA and FAST_SIGMA are defined as 12-13.5 Hz and 13.5-15 Hz respectively.


Channel-level information (strata: CH)

Variable Description
NE Number of epochs included

Spectral band power (strata: B x CH)

Variable Description
PSD Absolute spectral power
RELPSD Relative spectral power

Spectral power by frequency bin (option: spectrum, strata: F x CH)

Variable Description
PSD Absolute spectral power

Epoch-level spectral band power (option: epoch, strata: E x B x CH)

Variable Description
PSD Absolute spectral power
RELPSD Relative spectral power

Epoch-level spectral power by frequency bin (option: epoch-spectrum, strata: E x F x CH)

Variable Description
PSD Absolute spectral power

Here we calculate band power and the PSD for tutorial individual nsrr01, for all N2 and all N3 sleep separately. Note, here we run Luna twice but put all output in the same out.db database, by using -a to append for the second command, rather than -o. We also add a TAG command to disambiguate the output:

luna s.lst 2 sig=EEG -o out.db -s "EPOCH & MASK ifnot=NREM2 & RE & TAG SS/N2 & PSD spectrum"
luna s.lst 2 sig=EEG -a out.db -s "EPOCH & MASK ifnot=NREM3 & RE & TAG SS/N3 & PSD spectrum"
Here we see that all output for PSD has an additional SS (sleep stage) stratifier:
destrat out.db
distinct strata group(s):
  commands      : factors           : levels        : variables 
  [EPOCH]       : .                 : 1 level(s)    : DUR INC NE
                :                   :               : 
  [RE]          : .                 : 1 level(s)    : DUR1 DUR2 NR1 NR2
                :                   :               : 
  [MASK]        : EPOCH_MASK        : 2 level(s)    : N_MASK_SET N_MASK_UNSET N_MATCHES
                :                   :               : N_RETAINED N_TOTAL N_UNCHANGED
                :                   :               :
                :                   :               : 
  [PSD]         : CH SS             : 2 level(s)    : NE
                :                   :               : 
  [PSD]         : F CH SS           : 82 level(s)   : PSD
                :                   :               : 
  [PSD]         : B CH SS           : 20 level(s)   : PSD RELPSD
                :                   :               : 

The number of epochs of N2 and N3 sleep respectively:

destrat out.db +PSD -r CH SS
ID        CH     SS    NE
nsrr02    EEG    N2    399
nsrr02    EEG    N3    185

Here we tabulate relative power for N2 and N3 sleep:

destrat out.db +PSD -r CH B -c SS -v RELPSD -p 2 
ID       B           CH     RELPSD.SS.N2  RELPSD.SS.N3
nsrr02   SLOW        EEG    0.18          0.21
nsrr02   DELTA       EEG    0.50          0.61
nsrr02   THETA       EEG    0.15          0.10
nsrr02   ALPHA       EEG    0.07          0.03
nsrr02   SIGMA       EEG    0.04          0.02
nsrr02   SLOW_SIGMA  EEG    0.02          0.01
nsrr02   FAST_SIGMA  EEG    0.01          0.01
nsrr02   BETA        EEG    0.02          0.01
nsrr02   GAMMA       EEG    0.00          0.00
nsrr02   TOTAL       EEG    1.00          1.00

As expected, the relative power of delta sleep is higher in N3 (61%) compared to N2 (50%) for this individual.

To look at per-epoch estimates of band power for all N2 and N3 sleep:

luna s.lst 2 sig=EEG -o out2.db -s "MASK if=wake & RE & PSD epoch"

For a change, here we'll use lunaR to directly load out2.db into the R statistical package. If you have R and lunaR installed, then at the R prompt:

k <- ldb("out2.db")
To summarize the contents:
RE : BL 
We can directly extract a data frame of epoch by band by channel information:
d <- k$PSD$B_CH_E
From this, we can further select on delta power:
delta <- d[ d$B == "DELTA" , ] 
Plotting these data, we see a moderate decrease in relative delta power across the night:
plot( delta$E ,delta$RELPSD , pch=20 , col="blue", ylab="Relative delta power" , xlab="Epoch" )

The correlation coefficient between epoch number and relative delta power is r = -0.36 and highly significant:

cor.test( delta$E ,delta$RELPSD  ) 
    Pearson's product-moment correlation

data:  delta$E and delta$RELPSD
t = -10.304, df = 713, p-value < 2.2e-16
alternative hypothesis: true correlation is not equal to 0
95 percent confidence interval:
 -0.4221768 -0.2944507
sample estimates:


Applies the multitaper method for spectral density estimation

This provides an alternative to PSD for spectral density estimation, that can be more efficient in some scenarios (albeit slower): the multitaper method as described here.

The time half bandwidth product parameter (nw) provides a way to balance the variance and resolution of the PSD: higher values reduce both the variance and the frequency resolution, meaning smoother but potentially blunted and biased power spectra. The optimal choice of nw will depend on the properties of the data and the research question at hand. This manuscript provides a nice review of the use of multitaper spectral analysis in the sleep domain, along with considerations for specifying the time half bandwidth product (nw) and the number of tapers (t). (By default, MTM will always use 2nw-1 tapers.)

As currently specified, the MTM command does not use the standard epoch mechanism for output. Rather, it is based on the concept of segments, which define the window of spectral analysis. These may be much smaller than a typical epoch (e.g. 1 second) and one may wish to have highly overlapping segments in a sliding-window style of analysis. Because of this, it is more efficient (internally) to use a different mechanism. By default, segments are defined to be 30 seconds, and to step in increments of 30 seconds, so for all intents and purposes, this will be identical to (default) epoch specification.

Parameter Example Description
sig C3,C4 Which signals to analyse
epoch Report epoch-level results (nb. actually segments, see above)
nw 4 Time half bandwidth product (default 3, typically: 2, 5/2, 3, 7/2, or 4)
t 7 Number of tapers (default 2*nw-1, i.e. 5)
segment-sec 30 Segment size (default 30 seconds)
segment-inc 30 Segment increment/step (default 30 seconds)
min 0.5 Maximum frequency for power spectra (default is 20Hz)
max 25 Maximum frequency for power spectra (default is 20Hz)
dB Report power in dB units
dump-tapers Report the taper coefficients in the output
mean-center Mean center segments prior to analysis

Whole-signal power spectra (strata: CH x F)

Variable Description
MTM Absolute spectral power via the multitaper method

Epoch-level (segment) power spectra (option: epoch, strata: SEG x CH x F)

Variable Description
MTM Spectral power via the multitaper method

To compare results for the N2 power spectra up to 20 Hz, from PSD and MTM for the three tutorial individuals:

luna s.lst -o out.db -s ' MASK ifnot=NREM2
                        & RE
            & PSD sig=EEG dB spectrum max=20
            & MTM sig=EEG dB tw=15 max=20'

This gives some output describing the properties of the MT analysis in the console:

 CMD #4: MTM
   options: dB=T max=20 sig=EEG tw=15
  assuming all channels have the same sample rate of 125Hz:
    time half-bandwidth (nw) = 15
    number of tapers         = 29
    spectral resolution      = 1Hz
    segment duration         = 30s
    segment step             = 30s
    FFT size                 = 4096
    number of segments       = 375
    adjustment               = none
  processed channel(s): EEG

k <- ldb( "out.db" )
mtm <- lx( k , "MTM" , "CH" , "F" )
psd <- lx( k , "PSD" , "CH" , "F" )
yr <- range( c( mtm$MTM , psd$PSD ) )
for (i in unique( mtm$ID ) ) { 
plot( mtm$F[mtm$ID==i] ,  mtm$MTM[mtm$ID==i] , type="l" , col="purple" , lwd=2 , xlab="Frequency (Hz)" , ylab="Power (dB)" , ylim=yr ) 
lines( psd$F[psd$ID==i] , psd$PSD[psd$ID==i] , type="l" , col="orange" , lwd=2 ) 


As expected, in this particular scenario and with long signals, both methods produce similar results.

As a second example, here is a whole-night MT spectrogram, performed within lunaR:

lattach( lsl( "s.lst" ) , 1 ) 
k <- leval( "MTM sig=EEG tw=15 max=30 epoch dB" ) 

Examing the output:


And plotting a heatmap:

d <- k$MTM$CH_F_SEG
lheatmap( d$SEG , d$F , d$MTM ) 


As a third example: here is an application of MTM on a smaller segment of data (a single epoch), which shows sleep spindles in the MTM spectrogram (plotting the results in the range of 8 to 20 Hz), generated by the commands:

MTM segment-sec=2.5 segment-inc=0.02 epoch nw=5 max=30 dB

Note the use of a small (2.5 seconds) segment size, which is shifted only 0.02 seconds at a time, and so gives a considerable smoothing of estimates in the time domain (which may or may not be desirable, depending on the goal of the analysis.)



Calculates per-epoch multi-scale entropy statistics

This function estimates multi-scale entropy (MSE) as described in the approach of Costa et al, which is based on the concept of sample entropy.

In short, there are two steps: first, the time series is coarse-grained, dependent on scale parameter s (typically varied between 1 and 20); second, sample entropy is calculated for each coarse-grained time series, dependent on parameters m and r. Parameters m and r define the pattern length and the similarity criterion respectively, with default values of 2 and 0.15 respectively. Smaller values of (multi-scale) entropy indicate more self-similarity and less noise in a signal.

Parameter Example Description
m m=3 Embedding dimension (default 2)
r r=0.2 Matching tolerance in standard deviation units (default 0.15)
s s=1,15,2 Consider scales 1 to 15, in steps of 2 (default 1 to 10 in steps of 1)
verbose verbose Emit epoch-level MSE statistics

MSE per channel and scale (strata: CH x SCALE)

Variable Description
MSE Multi-scale entropy

Epoch-level MSE per channel and scale (option: verbose, strata: E x CH x SCALE)

Variable Description
MSE Multi-scale entropy


Calculate per-epoch LZW compression index

Lempel–Ziv–Welch (LZW) is a commonly used data compression algorithm, which can be applied to coarse-grained sleep signals to provide a quantitative metric (the ratio of the size of the compressed signal versus the original signal) of the amount of non-redundant information in a signal.

Parameter Example Description
nsmooth nsmooth=2 Coarse-graining parameter (similar to scale s in MSE)
nbins nbins=5 Matching tolerance in standard deviation units (default 10)
epoch epoch Emit epoch-level LZW statistics

LZW per channel (strata: CH)

Variable Description
LZW Compression index

Epoch-level LZW per channel and scale (option: epoch, strata: E x CH)

Variable Description
LZW Compression index


Applies filter-Hilbert transform to a signal, to estimate envelope and instantaneous phase

This function can be used to generate the envelope of a (band-pass filtered) signal.

Parameter Example Description
sig sig=EEG Which signal(s) to apply the filter-Hilbert to
f f=0.5,4 Lower and upper transition frequencies
ripple ripple=0.02 Ripple (0-1)
tw tw=0.5 Transition width (in Hz)
tag tag=v1 Additional tag to be added to the new signal
phase phase Generate a second new signal with instantaneous phase

No formal output, other than one or two new signals in the in-memory representation of the EDF, with _hilbert_mag and (optionally) _hilbert_phase suffixes.


Using lunaR, with nsrr02 attached, we will use the filter-Hilbert method to get the envelope of a sigma-filtered EEG signal. After attaching the sample, we then drop all signals except the one of interest:

leval( "SIGNALS keep=EEG" ) 

We then apply the filter-Hilbert method, which will generate two new channels, EEG_hilbert_11_15_mag and EEG_hilbert_11_15_phase:

leval( "HILBERT sig=EEG f=11,15 ripple=0.02 tw=0.5 phase" )

For illustration, we'll also generate a copy of the original signal:

leval( "COPY sig=EEG tag=SIGMA" )

and then apply a bandpass filter to it, in the same sigma range as above:

leval( "FILTER sig=EEG_SIGMA bandpass=11,15 ripple=0.02 tw=0.5" ) 


Unlike HILBERT, FILTER modifies the source channel, which is why we COPY-ed the original channel first.

We now have four signals in the in-memory representation of the EDF:

[1] "EEG"                     "EEG_hilbert_11_15_mag"  
[3] "EEG_hilbert_11_15_phase" "EEG_SIGMA"              

To view some of the results, we can use ldata() to extract signals for a particular epoch. For better visualization, here we'll select smaller (15 second) epochs:


We can then pull all four signals for given (set of) epoch(s), say number 480:

d <- ldata( 480 , chs=lchs() ) 
Using R's plotting functions:
plot( d$SEC , d$EEG , ylab = "Raw" , type="l" ,axes=F)
plot( d$SEC , d$EEG_SIGMA , ylab = "Filtered" , type="l" , axes=F)
lines( d$SEC , d$EEG_hilbert_11_15_mag , col="red" , lwd=2 ) 
plot( d$SEC , d$EEG_hilbert_11_15_phase , ylab = "Phase" , type="l" , axes=F)



Applies a continuous wavelet transform by convolution with a complex Morlet wavelet

The CWT is the basis of the SPINDLE command. This command allows you to generate new signals in the EDF that correspond to the underlying CWT, e.g. for plotting, or getting insight into the performance of SPINDLES under different circumstances.

Parameter Example Description
sig sig=EEG Which signal(s) to apply the CWT to
fc fc=15 Wavelet center frequency
cycles cycles=12 Bandwidth of the wavelet, specified in terms of the number of cycles
tag tag=v1 Additional tag to be added to the new signal
phase phase Generate a second new signal with wavelet's phase

No formal output, other than one (or two) new signals appended to the in-memory representation of the EDF.


Display the properties of a complex Morlet wavelet transform

This command does not operate on EDFs per se; rather, it produces analytic output on the properties of a continuous wavelet transform (CWT) given the design parameters.

Wavelet bandwidth can be specifed in one of two ways: by giving the number of cycles (cycles option) OR by specifying the time-domain full width at half maximum (FWHM) value (in seconds). See this manuscript for a discussion of the advantages of this latter specificiation.

In both cases, the CWT-DESIGN will estimate the implied FWHM in the frequency domain, i.e. the tightness of the wavelet around the specified central frequency (fc).


Parameter Example Description
fs fs=200 Sample rate
fc fc=15 Center frequency
fwhm fwhm=1 Time-domain FWHM (use instead of cycles)
cycles cycles=7 Number of cycles in wavelet (use instead of fwhm)


Time/frequency domain FWHM (strata: PARAM)

Variable Description
FWHM Specified time-domain full width at half max (if fwhm option given) (secs)
FWHM_F Estimated frequency-domain FWHM (Hz)
FWHM_LWR Estimated lower half-max frequency bound (Hz)
FWHM_UPR Estimated upper half-max frequency bound (Hz)

Frequency response for wavelet (strata: PARAM x F)

Variable Description
MAG Magnitude of response (arbitrary units)

Wavelet coefficients (strata: PARAM x SEC)

Variable Description
REAL Real part of wavelet
IMAG Imaginary part of wavelet


To display the properties of a wavelet with center frequency of 15 hz and 12 cycles, applied to a signal with sample rate of 12 Hz.

luna s.lst 1 -o out.db -s "CWT-DESIGN fc=15 cycles=12 fs=200" 


The default value of cycles for the SPINDLES command is 7 cycles.

Equivalently, without an EDF/sample list, you can use the --cwt parameter and pipe the parameters (fc, cycles and fs). Here we use it for both 11 Hz and 15 Hz wavelets. Also, note the use of -a instead of -o for the second command, so that the output of the second command appends (rather than overwrites) the existing out.db:

echo "fc=11 cycles=12 fs=200" | luna --cwt -o out.db 
echo "fc=15 cycles=12 fs=200" | luna --cwt -a out.db 

Using lunaR to view the output:

k <- ldb("out.db")
We see two strata:
Extracting the strata defined by PARAM (a description of the input parameters) and F (frequency):
d <- lx( k , "CWT_DESIGN" , "PARAM" , "F" ) 
We can then plot the amplitude response (arbitrary units, scaled to 1.0) for the two wavelets:
plot( d$F[ d$PARAM == "11_12_200" ]  , d$MAG[ d$PARAM == "11_12_200" ] , 
 xlim=c(0,20) , type="l" , lwd=2 , col="blue" , 
 xlab="Frequency (Hz)" , ylab="Amplitude" , ylim=c(0,1) ) 

lines( d$F[ d$PARAM == "15_12_200" ]  , d$MAG[ d$PARAM == "15_12_200" ] , 
 lwd=2 , col="red" )

legend( 2 , 0.9 , c("11 Hz","15 Hz") , fill = c("blue","red") )


Looking at the estimated frequency domain FWHM values, we see these correspond to the y=0.5 (i.e. 50%) values for each wavelet, at lower and upper valeus respectively.

lx( k , "CWT_DESIGN" , "PARAM"  )
.   11_12_200  2.197802   9.89011  12.08791
.   15_12_200  3.003003  13.51351  16.51652


Applies a differentiator filter to remove 1/f trends in signals

Many biological signals such as the EEG have an approximately 1/f frequency distribution, meaning that slower frequencies tend to have exponentially greater power than faster frequencies. It may sometimes be useful to normalize signals in such a way that removes this trend (e.g. in visualization, or detecting peaks against a background of a roughly flat baseline). The 1FNORM command is an implementation of this method to normalize power spectra, by passing the signal through a differentiator prior to spectral analysis.


Parameter Example Description
sig sig=C3,C4 Optional parameter to specify which channels to normalize (otherwise, all channels are normalized)


No output per se, other than modifying the in-memory representation of the specified channels.


Using the tutorial dataset and lunaC to run the analysis:

luna s.lst sig=EEG -o out.db 
  -s "MASK ifnot=NREM2 \
      & RE \
      & TAG NORM/no \
      & PSD spectrum \
      & 1FNORM \
      & TAG NORM/yes \
      & PSD spectrum"

Using lunaR to visualize the normalized and raw power spectra (in R):

k <- ldb( "out.db" )

Looking at the contents of out.db, we are interested in the results of PSD stratified by F (for power spectra), CH and NORM (the TAG that tracks in the output whether we have applied the normalization or not):


Extracting these variables and values:

d <- lx( k , "PSD" , "CH" , "F" , "NORM" )

      ID  CH F NORM       PSD
1 nsrr01 EEG 0   no  5.143138
2 nsrr02 EEG 0   no 15.236110
3 nsrr03 EEG 0   no 36.675012
4 nsrr01 EEG 0  yes 17.649644
5 nsrr02 EEG 0  yes 30.562531
6 nsrr03 EEG 0  yes 52.218946
Pulling out the pre-normalized spectra:
pre <- d[ d$NORM == "no" , ] 
and then post normalization:
post <- d[ d$NORM == "yes" , ] 

Tracking the IDs of the three tutorial individuals, to plot them separately:

ids <- unique( d$ID ) 

We can then use R basic plotting commands to generate spectra for the three individuals (columns) corresponding to the raw, unnormalized spectra showing a 1/f trend (top row), the log-scaled spectra, which show more of a linear trend (middle row), and the normalized spectra (bottom row). Whereas we would not expect these spectra to be completely flat (e.g. certainly, if bandpass filters have already been applied to the data), which the range of ~5 to 20 Hz the baselines are relatively flat, and arguably the "peaks" (for nsrr02 around 13 Hz) are visibly clearer.

par( mfrow=c(3,3) , yaxt='n' , mar=c(4,4,1,1) ) 

for (i in ids) {
plot( pre$F[ pre$ID == i ] , pre$PSD[ pre$ID == i ] , 
 type="l" , lwd=2 , col="cornflowerblue" , ylab="Raw" , xlab=i )  }

for (i in ids) {
plot( pre$F[ pre$ID == i ] , 10*log10( pre$PSD[ pre$ID == i ] ), 
 type="l" , lwd=2 , col="goldenrod" , ylab="Log" , xlab=i)  } 

for (i in ids) {
plot( post$F[ post$ID == i ] , post$PSD[ post$ID == i ] , 
 type="l" , lwd=2 , col="olivedrab" , ylab="1/f-norm" , xlab=i)  }



Applies of fast algorithm for 1D total variation denoising

The TV is a wrapper around the algorithm described here. In lunaC it operates on EDF channels, modifying the in-memory representation of the signal.


Given that this is not something one typically wants to perform on raw physiological signals, a more common use-case may be via lunaR however, where the ldenoise() function provides a simple interface for any time series.
It is mentioned here only for completeness.


Parameter Example Description
sig sig=EEG Optional specification of signals (otherwise applied to all signals)
lambda lambda=10 Smoothing parameter (0 to infinity)

See the description of ldenoise() for using this function with lunaR. Higher values of lambda put more weight on minimizing variation in the new signal, i.e. producing a more flattened representation. The exact choice of lambda will depend on the numerical scale of the data as well as its variability and the goal of the analysis.


No output other than modifying the in-memory representation of the signal.


Using lunaR to plot delta power across sleep epochs and fit a de-noised line using ldenoise() (which invokes TV), to the nsrr02 individual from the tutorial dataset:

sl <- lsl("s.lst")
Get delta power (in dB units) for each sleep epoch:
k <- leval( "MASK if=wake & RE & PSD sig=EEG epoch dB" )
d <- k$PSD$B_CH_E
d <- d[ d$B == "DELTA" , ] 

Also get sleep stages via the lstages() function:

ss <- lstages()

Using ldenoise(), we can fit a de-noised line, with lambda of 10 in this particular case:

d1 <- ldenoise( d$PSD , lambda = 10 ) 

Plotting the original and de-noised versions, also using the convenience lstgcols() function:

plot( d$PSD, col=lstgcols(ss), pch=20, xlab="Sleep Epochs", ylab="Delta power (dB)" ) 
lines( d1 , lwd=5 , col="orange" )



Compute the autocorrelation function for a signal


Parameter Example Description
sig sig=EEG Optional specification of signals (otherwise applied to all signals)
lag lag=200 Maxmimum lag (in sample units)


ACF per channel (strata: CH x LAG)

Variable Description
SEC Lag in seconds
ACF Autocorrelation


To estimate the ACF for an example EEG, ECG and EMG channel, for up to 3 seconds lag (here assuming all channels are sampled at 100 Hz, and so a lag of 300):

luna s.lst 1 -o out.db -s 'ACF sig=EEG,ECG,EMG lag=300'
We can extract the output from the ACF function, conditional on CH and LAG strata (here putting different channels in different columns (-c CH) and different lags in different rows (-r LAG):

destrat out.db +ACF -c CH -r LAG > o.txt
Plotting these ACF (e.g. from o.txt, SEC.CH_EEG on the x-axis, and ACF.CH_EEG on the y-axis), we see strong, regular autocorrelations, with peaks at periodically recuring intervals (top row of plots below). These would be indicative of artifact in EEG, ECG or EMG channels: indeed, in this particular case (which is the first tutorial EDF), there is considerable artifact at the end of the recording (i.e. with spectral peaks at 25 Hz and 12.5 Hz, reflecting harmonics of electrical noise artifacts).


If we repeat the analysis just looking at sleep (N2) epochs (i.e. just a quick way to chop off the particularly noisy part of the recording), we see quite different ACF signatures, which are more characteristic of typical EEG, ECG and EMG respectively.

luna s.lst 1 -o out.db -s 'MASK ifnot=NREM2 & RE & ACF sig=EEG,ECG,EMG lag=300'
The output from this second run are plotted in the lower panel of the above figure.