EEG complexity

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EEG complexity

Basic Characteristics

  • Description

Electroencephalograms (EEG) measure and record electrical activity in the brain. Electrodes are attached to the head and hooked by wires to a computer. Recording of the brain's activity is usually about 20-40 mintues long. EEG is noninvasive, radiation-free, and repeatable.The EEG captures a physiological measure of the momentary functional state of underlying cerebral structures. The reconstructed attractor (D"2) is a specific human value for the EEG. Correlations of the EEG's reconstructed attractor are a quantitative characteristic. These are considered a measure of EEG complexity and can be interprated as variability in brain functioning or a correlate of independent cell assemblies number. Variations in underlying neural dynamics have been associated with individual differences in cognition and a number of nueropsychological disorders.

There is a direct relation between EEG complexity and the complexity of behavior in psychosis. EEG abnormalities have been observed in Schizophrenia but these abnormalities are not diagnostic. Conditions such as seizures can also be seen by changes in patterns of brain activity using the an EEG. The main diagnostic use of the EEG is for Epilepsy.

  • History

Hans Berger has been given most of the credit for both giving the EEG its' name and inventing it in the 1920s. Some insist that similar experiments existied prior to this. By the 1930s the field of clinical electroencephalography was established. The EEG gained attention with its ability to see seizures. An intercital spike was established as a focal signature of epilepsy. The first EEG lab was opened at Massachussets General Hospital. In the 1950s, William Grey Walter developed EEG topography. This allowed the mapping of electrical activity across the surface of the brain. Today the EEG is used mainly as a research tool.

  • References

Stephan et al. 2009. Dysconnection in schizophrenia: From abnormal synaptic plasticity to failures of self-monitoring. PMID 19155345

Clementz et al. 2008. Normal electrocortical facilitation but abnormal target identification during visual sustained attention in schizophrenia. PMID 19074014

Shagass et al. 1982. Relationships between psychiatric diagnosis and some quantitative EEG variables. PMID 7149904

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