Skip to main content

Comparative effects of microcurrent stimulation on EEG spectrum and correlation dimension


Two mathematical derivatives of electroencephalogram (EEG), Fast Fourier Transform (FFT), and correlation dimension from chaos analysis were used to assess the objective effects of earlobe versus mid-trapezius microcurrent stimulation on brain EEG. These measures were considered to be clinically relevant since low points in the FFT have been associated with attention deficit disorder, and declining correlation dimension has been associated with onset of epilepsy. Thirty Subjects (30) were assigned randomly to one of three groups: earlobe, trapezius, and a double blind placebo control Earlobe stimulation (CES) was hypothesized to alter BEG since research suggests CES enters the brain directly, through a perineural or vascular path via the auditory meatus. Results showed that trapezius microcurrent therapy proved more effective in producing significant declines in FFT spectral smoothing, with an average standard deviation (SD) in the FFT of 1.1, as compared to the CES group showing an SD of 2.9. Correlation dimension in both trapezius and CES stimulation groups increased significantly (p<.001) as compared to placebo, with the correlation dimension measures for earlobe, trapezius, and placebo being 5.7, 5.6, and 3.7, respectively. The author discusses the significance of using body points for promoting clinically beneficial effects in brain electrophysiology as evidenced by improved FFT and correlation dimension.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  • Bassingthwaighte J., Liebowitch L., and West, B. (1994).Fractal physiology. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Becker, R. (1990).Cross currents: The promise of electromedicine and the perils of electropollution. New York: Putnam.

    Google Scholar 

  • Heffernan, M. (1995). The effect of a single cranial electrotherapy stimulation on multiple stress measures,Townsend Letter 147:60–64.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jarzembski, W. (1970). Evaluation of specific cerebral impedance and cerebral current density,Annals of the New York Academy of Science (70):476–490.

  • Kirsch, D. (1996). Cranial electrotherapy stimulation—A safe and effective treatment for anxiety.Alberta Clinical Journal of Medicine 1:1–27.

    Google Scholar 

  • Klawansky et al. (1995). Meta-analysis of CES studies,Journal of Nervous and Mental Disorders 183(7):478–485.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Liss S. (1996). Neurobiochemical plasma changes following multisite auricular stimulation.Eighth International Montreux Congress on Stress. Montreux, Switzerland.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lubar, J. et al. (1995). EEG spectrum in neurofeedback treatment of attention deficient disorder,Journal of Psych-educational Assessment, Special Issue (Dec.).

  • Morrison, H. (1994). Cranial electrical stimulation for treatment of stress related pain,Sixth International Montreux Congress on Stress, Montreux, Switzerland.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schiff, S. (1995). Treatment of epileptic seizure patterns with chaos analysis. Personal Communications. Washington D.C. Children’s Hospital, Dept. Of Neurosurgery, District of Columbia.

  • Schummer G. (1995). Self-regulation of the immune system.Megabrain Report (3):30–39.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shealy, N. et al. (1989). Depression: A diagnostic neurochemical profile and therapy with cranial electrical stimulation (CES),Journal of Neurological and Orthopedic Medicine and Surgery 10:319–321.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sprott, J. and Rowlands, G. (1992).Chaos data analyzer, North Carolina, Physics Academic Software.

    Google Scholar 

  • West, B. (1990).Fractal physiology and chaos in medicine. New Jersey: World Scientific.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Heffernan, M.S. Comparative effects of microcurrent stimulation on EEG spectrum and correlation dimension. Integrative Physiological and Behavioral Science 31, 202–209 (1996).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Fast Fourier Transform
  • Correlation Dimension
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Chaos Analysis
  • Fixed Point Attractor