2. Physiologic Basis of the EEG Signal

  1. Nash Boutros1,
  2. Silvana Galderisi2,
  3. Oliver Pogarell3 and
  4. Silvana Riggio4
  1. Paola Bucci and
  2. Silvana Galderisi

Published Online: 14 MAR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470974612.ch2

Standard Electroencephalography in Clinical Psychiatry: A Practical Handbook

Standard Electroencephalography in Clinical Psychiatry: A Practical Handbook

How to Cite

Bucci, P. and Galderisi, S. (2011) Physiologic Basis of the EEG Signal, in Standard Electroencephalography in Clinical Psychiatry: A Practical Handbook (eds N. Boutros, S. Galderisi, O. Pogarell and S. Riggio), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470974612.ch2

Editor Information

  1. 1

    Wayne State University, School of Medicine. 2751 E, Jefferson, Detroit, MI 48207, USA

  2. 2

    Department of Psychiatry, University of Naples SUN, Largo Madonna delle Grazie, 8018 Naples, Italy

  3. 3

    Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ludwig-Maximilian-University of Munich, Nussbaumstr. 7, D-80336 Munich, Germany

  4. 4

    Mount Sinai School of Medicine and James J. Peters VAMC, New York, NY, USA

Author Information

  1. Department of Psychiatry, University of Naples SUN, Largo Madonna delle Grazie, 8018 Naples, Italy

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 MAR 2011
  2. Published Print: 18 MAR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470747827

Online ISBN: 9780470974612

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Keywords:

  • action potential;
  • excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic potentials;
  • electrical field potentials;
  • dipole;
  • genesis of EEG rhythms

Summary

This chapter is aimed at explaining the physiologic principles of EEG generation. It starts with basic notions on the flux of iones through the cell membrane to explain the concepts of depolarization, repolarization and action potential. Excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic potentials, representing the most significant source of scalp-recorded EEG signals by creating a dipole through the vertically oriented pyramidal neurons are then described. The possible contribution of nonsynaptic intercellular events to the EEG signal is also reported. The relationship between the location of the synaptic activity within the cortex and the polarity of the surface potentials is explained. Factors influencing the characteristics of scalp-recorded EEG waves are summarized. Brain structures involved in the genesis of EEG rhythms and main circuits responsible for the occurrence and modulation of rhythmic behavior are illustrated.