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Electric Fields of the BrainThe neurophysics of EEG$
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Paul L. Nunez and Ramesh Srinivasan

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195050387

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195050387.001.0001

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Fallacies in EEG

Fallacies in EEG

(p.56) 2 Fallacies in EEG
Electric Fields of the Brain

Paul L. Nunez

Ramesh Srinivasan

Oxford University Press

The highly interdisciplinary nature of EEG is apparently the main reason why many fallacies have appeared in EEG and, in some cases, persisted over long periods. Common EEG fallacies occur on both side of the normal division between the physical and biological sciences. This chapter presents a summary of fallacies with minimal supporting arguments, which are considered in more detail throughout the book. Topics include: the chauvinism of spatial scale (the attitude that data recorded at one scale is more scientific than others), the myth of the quiet reference, use and misuse of mathematical models, the EEG folklore, appropriate and inappropriate methods of EEG data analysis, the often-adopted mantra “artifact-free” data, the extreme non-uniqueness and (often) unreliability of source localization, advantages and limitations of high resolution EEG, over-promotion of brain magnetic field recordings (MEG), and “pacemaker” icons adopted as a psychological crutch to avoid genuine scientific issues.

Keywords:   artifact-free data, source localization, MEG, high resolution EEG, quiet reference, reference electrode, pacemaker

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