Spatiotemporal Analysis of Brain Alectrical Fields

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cognition, attention, EEG, ERP, cortex

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Psychological studies with reaction time methodology show that there is meaningful variability in the performance of cognitive operations when responses are measured in milliseconds. Temporal precision is also required to reveal the rapid neurophysiological events in cortical networks. Sampling the brain's electrical activity at the scalp surface characterizes regional brain function with millisecond temporal resolution. The problem with electroencephalographic (EEG) data is localizing the areas of the cortex that generate the observed scalp fields. Although the eventual goal will be to specify the neural generators of the EEG, we propose that an important first step for functional studies is to examine accurate, time‐dynamic maps of the brain's electrical fields at the head surface. Given an adequate spatial sampling of the surface potentials, accurate electrical studies require measures that are independent of the location of the reference sensor. The 2D Laplacian of the potential field may be used to define the local features of the scalp current flow. Because the electrical fields are dynamic, brain mapping with electrical data requires animations rather than static images.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Human Brain Mapping, v. 1, issue 2, p. 134-152