Get access

The neurophysiological bases of EEG and EEG measurement: A review for the rest of us

Authors

  • Alice F. Jackson,

    Corresponding author
    1. Program in Neuroscience & Cognitive Science, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA
    2. Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA
    • Address correspondence to: Alice Jackson, 3304 Benjamin Building, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA. E-mail: ajacks14@umd.edu or Donald J. Bolger, e-mail: djbolger@umd.edu

    Search for more papers by this author
  • Donald J. Bolger

    Corresponding author
    1. Program in Neuroscience & Cognitive Science, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA
    2. Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA
    • Address correspondence to: Alice Jackson, 3304 Benjamin Building, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA. E-mail: ajacks14@umd.edu or Donald J. Bolger, e-mail: djbolger@umd.edu

    Search for more papers by this author

  • We thank Tim Freeman for so generously sharing his electrical engineering expertise, and Sarah Helfinstein, Megan Riley-Graham, and Leslie Rollins for their thoughtful comments on early versions of this work. We are grateful to an anonymous reviewer and to Steve Luck and Emily Kappenman for their constructive critiques.

Abstract

A thorough understanding of the EEG signal and its measurement is necessary to produce high quality data and to draw accurate conclusions from those data. However, publications that discuss relevant topics are written for divergent audiences with specific levels of expertise: explanations are either at an abstract level that leaves readers with a fuzzy understanding of the electrophysiology involved, or are at a technical level that requires mastery of the relevant physics to understand. A clear, comprehensive review of the origin and measurement of EEG that bridges these high and low levels of explanation fills a critical gap in the literature and is necessary for promoting better research practices and peer review. The present paper addresses the neurophysiological source of EEG, propagation of the EEG signal, technical aspects of EEG measurement, and implications for interpretation of EEG data.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary