Chapter

The Physics–EEG Interface

Paul L. Nunez and Ramesh Srinivasan

in Electric Fields of the Brain

Second edition

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195050387
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199865673 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195050387.003.0001
 The Physics–EEG Interface

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This chapter presents an overview of the physical and physiological bases for the electric potentials recorded from the human scalp, called electroencephalography or EEG. EEG applications in the clinical and cognitive sciences are outlined. Several dynamic properties of important phenomena—the human alpha rhythms—are outlined. A proposed conceptual framework for EEG generation is based on cell assemblies (neural networks) embedded in synaptic action fields, analogous to social networks embedded in a culture. Excitatory and inhibitory synaptic action fields are defined simply in terms of the number of active synapses in each cortical tissue mass or volume element, irrespective of functional significance. Interactions between the synaptic fields and networks provide a means for disparate networks to couple, a picture directly addressing the so-called binding problem of brain science. Elementary features of volume conduction are also discussed: currents, voltages, Ohm's law, reference electrodes, current sources, dipoles, dipole layers, source synchrony, and reference electrodes.

Keywords: alpha rhythms; clinical EEG; cognitive science; cell assemblies; neural networks; Ohm's law; reference electrode; current source

Chapter.  21778 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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