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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Spatial spectra of scalp EEG and EMG from awake humans

  • Author(s): Freeman, Walter J, III
  • Holmes, M D
  • Burke, B C
  • Vanhatalo, S
  • et al.

Objective: Evaluate spectral scaling properties of scalp electroencephalogram (EEG) and electromyogram (EMG), optimal spacing of electrodes, and strategies for mitigating EMG. Methods: EEG was recorded referentially from 9 subjects with a 64 channel linear array (electrodes 3 mm apart) placed parasagittally or transversely on forehead or occiput, at rest with eyes open or closed, or with deliberate EMG. Temporal (PSDt) and spatial (PSDx) power spectral densities were calculated with one-dimensional fast Fourier transform (FFT) for comparison with earlier analyses of intracranial EEG. Results: Scaling of PSDt from scalp resembled that from pia: near-linear decrease in log power with increasing log frequency (1/f(alpha)). Scalp PSDx decreased non-linearly and more rapidly than PSDx from pia. Peaks in PSDt (especially 4-12 Hz) and PSDx (especially 0.1-0.4 cycles/cm) revealed departures from 1/f(alpha). EMG power in PSDt was more "white" than 1/f(alpha). Conclusions: Smearing by dura-skull-scalp distorts PSDx more than PSDt of scalp EEG from 1/f(alpha) scaling at the pia. Spatial spectral peaks suggest that optimal scalp electrode spacing might be similar to I cm to capture non-local EEG components having the texture of gyri. Mitigation of EMG by filtering is unsatisfactory. A criterion for measuring EMG may support biofeedback for training subjects to reduce their EMG. Significance: High-density recording and log-log spectral display of EEG provide a foundation for holist studies of global human brain function, as an alternative to network approaches that decompose EEG into localized, modular signals for correlation and coherence. (C) 2003 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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