The Electroencephalogram (EEG): A Measure of Neural Synchrony

  • J. S. Ebersole
  • J. Milton
Part of the Biological and Medical Physics Series book series (BIOMEDICAL)


Our current understanding of epilepsy is very much linked to our understanding of the electroencephalogram (EEG). The EEG is a measurement of the potential difference between two points on the surface of the brain or scalp (Fig. 5.1) . The potential differences measured are very small (tens of microvolts (μV’s)) compared to the resting potential across the nerve membrane (1Os of millivolts (mV’s)). It is important to understand how these potential differences arise and to assess the relevant strengths and limitations of the EEG for providing information concerning the generation and spread of epileptic activity. Here we present an overview of the EEG with emphasis given to those aspects which will be most relevant for this text. Readers interested in a more complete discussion of the EEG are referred to a number of excellent monographs [357–360].


Pyramidal Neuron Cortical Surface Neural Population Epileptic Focus Depth Electrode 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. S. Ebersole
  • J. Milton

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