Navigation Links
How to read brain activity?
Date:12/4/2009

The electroencephalogram (EEG) is widely used by physicians and scientists to study brain function and to diagnose neurological disorders. However, it has remained largely unknown whether the electrodes on the head give an exact view of what is happening inside the brain. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tbingen, Germany, have now found a crucial link between the activity generated within the brain to that measured with EEG. These findings will provide a better understanding of the waveforms measured with EEG, and thus potentially allow for a better diagnosis and subsequent treatment of patients. (Neuron, October 2009)

The electroencephalogram (EEG) has been widely used in research and medicine for more than 80 years. The ability to measure the electrical activity in the brain by means of electrodes on the head is a handy tool to study brain functions as it is non-invasive and easy to apply. The interpretation of the EEG signals remains, however, difficult. The main reason for this is that the exact relationship between the activity generated in the brain compared to that measured on the scalp is unclear. Therefore, a question of paramount practical importance is how EEG can be used to deduce neural activity in the brain. Recently, Kevin Whittingstall and Nikos Logothetis from the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tubingen have addressed this very question for the first time.

By combining recordings of both EEG and individual neurons in trained monkeys, Whittingstall and Logothetis found that a combination of specific waves in the EEG could indeed reliably predict the activity of cells in the brain. They presented different movie clips consisting of everyday natural scenes to trained monkeys. While the monkeys watched, their brain activity was recorded via EEG and via electrodes that were placed directly on the neurons, thus allowing for a direct comparison between data sets. Specifically, they observed that the firing pattern of cells was highest during periods where bursts of 'fast' EEG activity were embedded within the slow-wave EEG. As the degree of this so-called 'frequency band coupling' changed, so also did the cells firing rate.

"We succeeded in identifying which aspects of the EEG best represent changes in the activity from a population of neurons in the brain", explains Kevin Whittingstall. "With this information, we can now move to better understand the cause of abnormal EEG waveforms in patients with certain neurological disorders."


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Kevin Whittingstall
kevin.whittingstall@tuebingen.mpg.de
009-707-160-11606
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Discovery makes brain tumor cells more responsive to radiation
2. New source discovered for the generation of nerve cells in the brain
3. Johnson & Johnson award goes to research of the cause of brain cell damage in Parkinsons
4. Cancer metabolism discovery uncovers new role of IDH1 gene mutation in brain cancer
5. New neuroimaging analysis technique identifies impact of Alzheimers disease gene in healthy brains
6. Bigger not necessarily better, when it comes to brains
7. Research reveals lipids unexpected role in triggering death of brain cells
8. Unlocking mysteries of the brain with PET
9. Changes in brain chemicals mark shifts in infant learning
10. Sex-based prenatal brain differences found
11. Nanowire biocompatibility in the brain: So far so good
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/19/2016)... , UAE, April 20, 2016 ... implemented as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for ... biometric fingerprint reader or the door interface with integration ... modern access control systems. The minimal dimensions of the ... readers into the building installations offer considerable freedom of ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... -- IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients in Central ... in telehealth thanks to a new partnership with higi. ... patients can routinely track key health measurements, such as ... when they opt in, share them with IMPOWER clinicians ... retail location at no cost. By leveraging this data, ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... 2016 Einzigartige ... und Stimmerkennung mit Passwörtern     ... MESG ), ein führender Anbieter digitaler Kommunikationsdienste, ... SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um erstmals dessen Biometrietechnologie einzusetzen. ... Möglichkeit angeboten, im Rahmen mobiler Apps neben ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and fluorometers use the z-dimension ... are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension of 20mm. Z-dimension ... bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed several Agilent flow cell ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... UAS LifeSciences, one of the leading manufacturers ... Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The company, which has been manufacturing high quality ... list of well-respected retailers. This list includes such fine stores as Whole Foods, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... SILVER SPRING, Md. , June 23, 2016 ... evidence collected from the crime scene to track the criminal ... sick, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. ... whole genome sequencing to support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce 24 new ... prostate cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 were selected from a pool ... Read More About the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: