Activity of Single Neurons and Their Relationship to Normal EEG Waves and Interictal Epilepsy Potentials in Humans

  • O. D. Creutzfeldt
  • G. A. Ojemann
  • G. E. Chatrian
Part of the Brain Dynamics book series (BD)


The surface EEG (ECoG) and the activity of single or small groups of neurons located directly under the ECoG electrode have been recorded in the temporal lobe and the premotor cortex of awake and anesthetized human patients during epilepsy surgery. Spontaneous changes of EEG patterns and those induced by barbiturate anesthesia are closely related to changes in neuronal discharge patterns, with a tendency to synchronization with rhythmical EEG waves in the ϑ, α, and β range, and a strong decline of discharge rate during the slow wave state of barbiturate anesthesia. The relationships between single waves and neuronal discharges are loose but consistent, and specific for different types of EEG waves. Discharge probability of neurons is increased during the surface negativity of α and ϑ waves, but phase coupling is loose. During rhythmical trains of fast β waves, discharge probability tends to be highest during the positive phase, but during slower β waves it may peak during the negative phase like during α waves. Neuronal discharge probability increases during sharp waves in epileptic foci, with a close phase linking to the rising negativity, but discharge probability already begins to increase during the small positive potential that occasionally precedes the negative EEG spike. Discharge probability sharply declines at the peak of the negative wave and neuronal discharges are strongly or completely suppressed for 200–300 msec during the subsequent EEG positivity. During spike-wave complexes, discharge probability is increased during the surface negative spike, but discharges are strongly or completely suppressed during the subsequent wave. The human data are discussed in relation to models of electrogenesis of EEG waves as derived from animal experiments.


Apical Dendrite Sharp Wave Neuronal Discharge Discharge Probability Negative Wave 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adrian ED, Moruzzi G (1939): Impulses in the pyramidal tract. J Physiol (Lond) 97: 153–199Google Scholar
  2. Anderson P, Andersson SA (1968): Physiological Basis of the Alpha Rhythm. New York: Appleton-Century-CroftsGoogle Scholar
  3. Barlow HS, Creutzfeldt OD, Michael D, Houchin J, Epelbaum H (1981): Automatic adaptive segmentation of clinical EEGs. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 51: 512–525CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Caspers H, Speckmann EJ, Lehmenkühler A (1987): DC potentials of the cerebral cortex: Seizure activity and changes in gas pressure. Rev Physiol Biochem Pharmacol 106: 127–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Creutzfeldt OD (1969): Neuronal mechanisms underlying the EEG in epilepsy. In: Basic Mechanisms of the Epilepsies, Jasper, Ward, Pope, eds. Boston: Little BrownGoogle Scholar
  6. Creutzfeldt OD, Bodenstein G, Barlow JS (1985): Computerized EEG pattern classification by adaptive segmentation and probability density function classification: Clinical evaluation. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 60: 373393Google Scholar
  7. Creutzfeldt OD, Houchin J (1974): Neuronal basis of EEG waves. In: Handbook of Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, Vol. 2, Part C, Remond C, ed. Amsterdam: ElsevierGoogle Scholar
  8. Creutzfeldt OD, Lux HD, Watanabe S (1966): Electrophysiology of cortical nerve cells. In: The Thalamus, Purpura PD, Yahr MD, eds. New York: Columbia University PressGoogle Scholar
  9. Creutzfeldt OD, Meisch JO (1963): Changes of cortical neuronal activity and EEG during hypoglycemia. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 24: 158–171Google Scholar
  10. Creutzfeldt OD, Ojemann GA, Lettich E (1989): Neuronal activity in the human lateral temporal lobe: 1. Responses to speech. Exp Brain Res 77: 451–475CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dempsey EW, Morison RS (1942): The production of rhythmically recurrent cortical potentials after localized thalamic stimulation. Am J Physiol 135: 293300Google Scholar
  12. Jannsen H, Llinas R (1984): Ionic basis for the electro-responsiveness and oscillatory properties of guinea pig thalamic neurones in vitro. J Physiol (Lond) 349: 227–247Google Scholar
  13. Jung R, Tönnies JF (1950): Hirnelektrische Untersuchungen über Entstehung un Erhaltung von Krampfentladungen: Die Vorgänge am Reizort und die Bremsfähigkeit des Gehirns. Arch Psychiatr Nervenkr 185: 701–735CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. McIllwain JT, Creutzfeldt OD (1967): Microelectrode study of synaptic excitation and inhibition in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the cat. J Neurophysiol 30: 122Google Scholar
  15. Mergenhagen D, Creutzfeldt OD, Neuweiler G (1968): Beziehungen zwischen Aktivität corticaler Neurone und EEG-Wellen im motorischen Cortex der Katze bei Hypogykämie. Arch Psychiatr Zschr Ges Neural 211: 43–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mitzdorf U (1985): Current source-density method and application in cat cerebral cortex: Investigation of evoked potentials and EEG phenomena. Physiol Rev 65: 37–100Google Scholar
  17. Ojemann GA (1985): Surgical treatment of epilepsy. In: Neurosurgery, Wilkins RH, Rengachary SS, eds. New York: McGraw HillGoogle Scholar
  18. Ojemann GA, Creutzfeldt OD, Lettich E, Haglund MM (1988): Neuronal activity in human lateral temporal cortex related to short-term verbal memory, naming and reading. Brain 111: 1383–1403CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Pollen DA (1964): Intracellular studies of cortical neurons during thalamic in- duced wave and spike. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 17: 398–404CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Pollen DA, Reid KH, Perot P (1964): Microelectrode studies of experimental 3/sec wave and spike in the cat. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 17: 5767Google Scholar
  21. Steriade M, Deschenes P (1984): The thalamus as a neuronal oscillator. Brain Res Rev 8: 1–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. D. Creutzfeldt
  • G. A. Ojemann
  • G. E. Chatrian

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations