The origin of extracellular fields and currents--EEG, ECoG, LFP and spikes

Author: György Buzsáki1, Costas A Anastassiou, Christof Koch
1 Center for Molecular and Behavioural Neuroscience, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 197 University Avenue, Newark, New Jersey 07102, USA.
Conference/Journal: Nat Rev Neurosci
Date published: 2012 May 18
Other: Volume ID: 13 , Issue ID: 6 , Pages: 407-20 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1038/nrn3241. , Word Count: 112

Neuronal activity in the brain gives rise to transmembrane currents that can be measured in the extracellular medium. Although the major contributor of the extracellular signal is the synaptic transmembrane current, other sources--including Na(+) and Ca(2+) spikes, ionic fluxes through voltage- and ligand-gated channels, and intrinsic membrane oscillations--can substantially shape the extracellular field. High-density recordings of field activity in animals and subdural grid recordings in humans, combined with recently developed data processing tools and computational modelling, can provide insight into the cooperative behaviour of neurons, their average synaptic input and their spiking output, and can increase our understanding of how these processes contribute to the extracellular signal.

PMID: 22595786 PMCID: PMC4907333 DOI: 10.1038/nrn3241