Electroencephalography (EEG) most commonly refers to the surface recording of the brain’s ongoing spontaneous electrical activity, although recordings can be made from electrodes placed on the dura or within the brain parenchyma for specialized purposes.
Richard Caton discovered the presence of electrical activity in the brain, in 1875. It was not until 1924 that methods of amplifying these electrical potentials were developed, which allowed ongoing recording of EEG rhythms via surface recordings.
Measurement of the EEG signal has been applied to multiple clinical problems, including epilepsy; sleep disorders, and the diagnosis of brain death. All of these applications depend on knowledge of normative patterns of brain electrical activity, including the predominant frequencies, amplitudes, and degree of coherence.
References and Readings
- Ebersole, J. S. (Ed.). (2014). Current practice of clinical electroencephalography (4th ed.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health.Google Scholar
- Leach, J. P., Stephen, L. J., Salveta, C., & Brodie, M. J. (2006). Which electroencephalography (EEG) for epilepsy? The relative usefulness of different EEG protocols in patients with possible epilepsy. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, 77(9), 1040–1042.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Schomer, D. L., & Lopas da Silva, F. (2010). Niedermeyer’s electroencephalography. Basic principles, clinical applications, and related fields (6th ed.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.Google Scholar