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J Neurophysiol. 2017 Mar 1;117(3):876-884. doi: 10.1152/jn.00427.2016. Epub 2016 Nov 16.

Forward and inverse effects of the complete electrode model in neonatal EEG.

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Department of Mathematics, Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland;
Newborn Medicine in the Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.
Department of Engineering, Olivet Nazarene University, Bourbonnais, Illinois; and.
Institute for Biomagnetism and Biosignalanalysis, University of Münster, Münster, Germany.


This paper investigates finite element method-based modeling in the context of neonatal electroencephalography (EEG). In particular, the focus lies on electrode boundary conditions. We compare the complete electrode model (CEM) with the point electrode model (PEM), which is the current standard in EEG. In the CEM, the voltage experienced by an electrode is modeled more realistically as the integral average of the potential distribution over its contact surface, whereas the PEM relies on a point value. Consequently, the CEM takes into account the subelectrode shunting currents, which are absent in the PEM. In this study, we aim to find out how the electrode voltage predicted by these two models differ, if standard size electrodes are attached to a head of a neonate. Additionally, we study voltages and voltage variation on electrode surfaces with two source locations: 1) next to the C6 electrode and 2) directly under the Fz electrode and the frontal fontanel. A realistic model of a neonatal head, including a skull with fontanels and sutures, is used. Based on the results, the forward simulation differences between CEM and PEM are in general small, but significant outliers can occur in the vicinity of the electrodes. The CEM can be considered as an integral part of the outer head model. The outcome of this study helps understanding volume conduction of neonatal EEG, since it enlightens the role of advanced skull and electrode modeling in forward and inverse computations.NEW & NOTEWORTHY The effect of the complete electrode model on electroencephalography forward and inverse computations is explored. A realistic neonatal head model, including a skull structure with fontanels and sutures, is used. The electrode and skull modeling differences are analyzed and compared with each other. The results suggest that the complete electrode model can be considered as an integral part of the outer head model. To achieve optimal source localization results, accurate electrode modeling might be necessary.


neonatal electroencephalography; skull modeling

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