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Neuroimage. 2007 Feb 15;34(4):1600-11. Epub 2007 Jan 4.

10/20, 10/10, and 10/5 systems revisited: their validity as relative head-surface-based positioning systems.

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Sensory and Cognitive Food Science Laboratory, National Food Research Institute, 2-1-12 Kannondai, Tsukuba 305-8642, Japan.


With the advent of multi-channel EEG hardware systems and the concurrent development of topographic and tomographic signal source localization methods, the international 10/20 system, a standard system for electrode positioning with 21 electrodes, was extended to higher density electrode settings such as 10/10 and 10/5 systems, allowing more than 300 electrode positions. However, their effectiveness as relative head-surface-based positioning systems has not been examined. We previously developed a virtual 10/20 measurement algorithm that can analyze any structural MR head and brain image. Extending this method to the virtual 10/10 and 10/5 measurement algorithms, we analyzed the MR images of 17 healthy subjects. The acquired scalp positions of the 10/10 and 10/5 systems were normalized to the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) stereotactic coordinates and their spatial variability was assessed. We described and examined the effects of spatial variability due to the selection of positioning systems and landmark placement strategies. As long as a detailed rule for a particular system was provided, it yielded precise landmark positions on the scalp. Moreover, we evaluated the effective spatial resolution of 329 scalp landmark positions of the 10/5 system for multi-subject studies. As long as a detailed rule for landmark setting was provided, 241 scalp positions could be set effectively when there was no overlapping of two neighboring positions. Importantly, 10/10 positions could be well separated on a scalp without overlapping. This study presents a referential framework for establishing the effective spatial resolutions of 10/20, 10/10, and 10/5 systems as relative head-surface-based positioning systems.

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