The problem of determining directional coupling between neuronal oscillators from their time series is addressed. We compare performance of the two well-established approaches: partial directed coherence and phase dynamics modeling. They represent linear and nonlinear time series analysis techniques, respectively. In numerical experiments, we found each of them to be applicable and superior under appropriate conditions: The latter technique is superior if the observed behavior is "closer" to limit-cycle dynamics, the former is better in cases that are closer to linear stochastic processes. (c) 2007 American Institute of Physics.