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In this paper, a new conductive polymer foam-surfaced electrode was proposed for use as a capacitive EEG electrode for nonintrusive EEG measurements in out-of-hospital environments. The current capacitive electrode has a rigid surface that produces an undefined contact area due to its stiffness, which renders it unable to conform to head curvature and locally isolates hairs between the electrode surface and scalp skin, making EEG measurement through hair difficult. In order to overcome this issue, a conductive polymer foam was applied to the capacitive electrode surface to provide a cushioning effect. This enabled EEG measurement through hair without any conductive contact with bare scalp skin. Experimental results showed that the new electrode provided lower electrode-skin impedance and higher voltage gains, signal-to-noise ratios, signal-to-error ratios, and correlation coefficients between EEGs measured by capacitive and conventional resistive methods compared to a conventional capacitive electrode. In addition, the new electrode could measure EEG signals, while the conventional capacitive electrode could not. We expect that the new electrode presented here can be easily installed in a hat or helmet to create a nonintrusive wearable EEG apparatus that does not make users look strange for real-world EEG applications.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2012