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IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2000 Nov;47(11):1487-92.

The conductivity of the human skull: results of in vivo and in vitro measurements.

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  • 1Department of Medical Physics and Biophysics, University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


The conductivity of the human skull was measured both in vitro and in vivo. The in vitro measurement was performed on a sample of fresh skull placed within a saline environment. For the in vivo measurement a small current was passed through the head by means of two electrodes placed on the scalp. The potential distribution thus generated on the scalp was measured in two subjects for two locations of the current injecting electrodes. Both methods revealed a skull conductivity of about 0.015 [symbol: see text]/m. For the conductivities of the brain, the skull and the scalp a ratio of 1:1/15:1 was found. This is consistent with some of the reports on conductivities found in the literature, but differs considerably from the ratio 1:1/80:1 commonly used in neural source localization. An explanation is provided for this discrepancy, indicating that the correct ratio is 1:1/15:1.

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