Epileptic Disorders


Electroencephalography: basic biophysical and technological aspects important for clinical applications Volume 22, issue 6, December 2020


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1 Departments of Clinical Neurophysiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus and Danish Epilepsy Centre, Dianalund; Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
2 Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA
* Correspondence: Sándor Beniczky Danish Epilepsy Centre Filadelfia, Visby Allé 5, 4293 Dianalund, Denmark

Electroencephalography (EEG) is the most commonly used functional investigative method in epilepsy. The goal of this educational review paper is to summarize the most important aspects related to the biophysical phenomena of EEG signal generation and the technical features that a clinician needs to understand in order to read and interpret EEGs. We explain the EEG electrodes and recording arrays, amplifiers, filters, analogue-to-digital conversion and signal display. We describe the advantages and disadvantages of the different montages and the indications for the various types of EEG recordings and provocative maneuvers. We explain how to use topographic maps to estimate the source of the cortical generator.

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