Spontaneous and evoked cortical potentials and related neuronal events
Changes in the activity of cortical neurones lead to potential fluctuations which can be detected in attenuated form at the surface of the cortex. These spontaneously occurring potential fluctuations are called the electroencephalogram (EEG) when recorded through the intact scalp, or electrocorticogram (ECoG) when recorded directly from the cortical surface. They were first observed in animals in 1875 by Berger who was the first to record and systematically study the human EEG. It appeared that characteristic EEG patterns were associated with particular mental states, and particular levels of consciousness, as well as particular pathological disturbances. There were persistent interindividual differences between EEGs and particular EEG patterns were more prominent in some cortical areas than others, and they varied characteristically with age. The EEG reveals nothing, however, about the personality, intelligence, or ongoing thoughts of the subject. Cortical potentials evoked by physiological or electrical stimuli are called evoked potentials (EPs).
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