Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience

2015 Edition
| Editors: Dieter Jaeger, Ranu Jung

Resistivity/Conductivity of Extracellular Medium

  • Scott LempkaEmail author
  • Cameron McIntyre
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6675-8_549



The electrical properties of neural tissue describe how an applied electric field (e.g., biopotentials or electrical stimulation) propagates through the tissue. The complex nature of neural tissue leads to frequency-dependent, inhomogeneous, and anisotropic electrical properties within the tissue.

Detailed Description


Electrical properties of neural tissue can be described in terms of electrical impedance. Electrical impedance describes the opposition to the flow of an electrical current through the tissue. Electrical impedance can be a complex quantity with both real (i.e., resistive) and imaginary (i.e., reactive) components. While several studies only consider the resistive component of neural tissue, neural tissue often displays frequency-dependent electrical properties in which it is often useful to consider both the resistive and the reactive components (Fig. 1). The electrical...
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Neurological RestorationCleveland ClinicClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Neurology, and NeurosurgeryCase Western Reserve University School of MedicineClevelandUSA