Effects of cavities on EEG dipole localization and their relations with surface electrode positions

Bin He, Toshimitsu Musha

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21 Scopus citations


Effects of cavities in the human head on EEG dipole localization have been investigated by computer simulation. The human head is represented by a homogeneous spherical conductor including an eccentric spherical cavity which approximates effects of actual cavities inside the head. The homogeneous sphere model is used for assessing the effects caused by neglecting the cavity in the volume conductor model in the inverse dipole fitting procedure. Four electrode configurations have been examined to investigate their relation to the EEG inverse dipole solution. After examination of 2520 dipoles in the brain, the effects of cavities in the human head are found to be negligible when the dipole is located in the cortex or in the subcortex. When the dipole is located in the brain stem, the EEG inverse dipole solution is strongly affected by the cavity and is sensitive to the electrode configuration on the scalp. The EEG inverse dipole solution in the deep brain is sensitive to inhomogeneity in the lower part of the head when a single positive or negative potential pole is observed by the electrodes on the scalp, and at the same time is sensitive to the extent of the scalp covered by the electrodes. In conclusion, the electrodes should cover as much of the upper scalp as possible for deep source localization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-282
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Bio-Medical Computing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1989

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank Y. Teramachi and Y. Okamoto for their helpful discussions in the early stage of the study. We also thank Sano for his comments on this manuscript and Ye’s help in the preparation of the illustrations. This work was partially supported by the Suzuken Memorial Foundation and the Casio Science Promotion Foundation.


  • Cavity
  • EEG
  • Eccentric spherical model
  • Electrode location
  • Inverse dipole solution


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