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By L. G. Kiloh, A. J. McComas, J. W. Osselton

Medical Electroencephalography

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1962). 'Factors Influencing the Relationship Between Alpha Activity and Visual Reaction Time'. Electroenceph. clin. Neurophysiol. 14, 674 Creutzfeldt, O. , Watanabe, S. and Lux, H. D. (1966). 'Relations Between E E G Phenomena and Potentials of Single Cortical Cells. II. Spontaneous and Convulsoid Activity'. Electroenceph. clin. Neurophysiol. , Ito, H. and Probst, W. (1969). 'Visual Evoked Response of Single Cells and of the E E G in Primary Visual Area of the Cat'. J. Neurophysiol. 32, 127 Dempsey, E.

A recording from scalp electrodes is but a sample of the activity near the surface of the brain; it is certainly attenuated and diffused and may be distorted by conduction through the cerebrospinal fluid, skull and scalp (Abraham and Marsan, 1958). Cooper et al. (1965) have shown that several square centimetres of cortex have to be involved in a synchronous electrical discharge for activity of comparable amplitude to be recorded from the overlying scalp. The ability to record in only two dimensions limits the accuracy with which the source of a particular EEG component can be located within the brain.

Unless there is some specific reason to the contrary, sleep should not be discouraged : valuable information may thereby be acquired and the necessity for a further recording under sedation avoided. O n the other hand, if a series of comparative recordings is to be carried out either on a single patient or upon a group, the conditions during recording must be the same on each occasion. Deliberate steps may have to be taken to maintain the patient in a constant state of alertness. In most investigations, the use of a few standard montages is sufficient, but in some cases it will be necessary for additional montages to be used.

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