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Recent evidence suggests that EEG amplitude analysis may be an important method for distinguishing and quantifying alterations in the EEG. This review describes the use of several indices, namely, the standard amplitude, skewness, and kurtosis as sensitive and reliable indices of these amplitude distributions. We have demonstrated that the centile indices for skewness and kurtosis provide a computer-efficient method for obtaining these measures on a real-time basis and can be used to quantify, the EEG effects of systemic injection of morphine or barbiturate anesthetic agents. Consequently, these indices can serve as important measures in the statistical evaluation of the effect of drug-induced modifications of spontaneous electrical activity of the brain.