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Laboratory Reference for Clinical Neurophysiology$
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Jay A. Liveson and Dong M. Ma

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780195129243

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195129243.001.0001

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(p.274) (p.275) Chapter 11 Introduction
Laboratory Reference for Clinical Neurophysiology

Jay A. Liveson

Dong M. Ma

Oxford University Press

It is well known that the sensory cortex responds to peripheral input, and that sensory stimuli evoke a cortical response. In fact, in cases of myoclonic epilepsy, the response to a peripheral stimulus can be detected using standard electroencephalogram (EEG ) recording. In normal subjects, however, the responses are of much lower amplitude. The normal EEG activity and the normal “noise” in the recording devices are of high enough voltage to mask any evoked response. With the onset of averaging technology, these small potentials became detectable. The procedure is to time-lock a peripheral stimulus to another which triggers the sweep of a computer of average transients. Any evoked potential that recurs with a fixed relationship to this peripheral stimulus is summed by the computer. All non-related potentials, or random waves, are progressively diminished and eventually cancel out. Thus, with adequate averaging, smaller and smaller evoked potentials can be extracted from the background activity.

Keywords:   sensory cortex, sensory stimuli, cortical response, peripheral stimulus, electroencephalogram, evoked potential, random waves

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