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Sensitivity distributions of EEG and MEG measurements

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3 Author(s)
J. Malmivuo ; Ragnar Granit Inst., Tampere Univ. of Technol., Finland ; V. Suihko ; H. Eskola

It is generally believed that because the skull has low conductivity to electric current but is transparent to magnetic fields, the measurement sensitivity of the magnetoencephalography (MEG) in the brain region should be more concentrated than that of the electroencephalography (EEG). It is also believed that the information recorded by these techniques is very different. If this were indeed the case, it might be possible to justify the cost of MEG instrumentation which is at least 25 times higher than that of EEG instrumentation. The localization of measurement sensitivity using these techniques was evaluated quantitatively in an inhomogeneous spherical head model using a new concept called half-sensitivity volume (HSV). It is shown that the planar gradiometer has a far smaller HSV than the axial gradiometer. However, using the EEG it is possible to achieve even smaller HSVs than with whole-head planar gradiometer MEG devices. The micro-superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) MEG device does have HSVs comparable to those of the EEG. The sensitivity distribution of planar gradiometers, however, closely resembles that of dipolar EEG leads and, therefore, the MEG and EEG record the electric activity of the brain in a very similar way.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering  (Volume:44 ,  Issue: 3 )