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Historical Aspects of Electroencephalography 

Historical Aspects of Electroencephalography
Chapter:
Historical Aspects of Electroencephalography
Author(s):

Raoul Sutter

, Peter W. Kaplan

, and Donald L. Schomer

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190228484.003.0001
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date: 14 October 2019

Electroencephalography (EEG), a dynamic real-time recording of electrical neocortical brain activity, began in the 1600s with the discovery of electrical phenomena and the concept of an “action current.” The galvanometer was introduced in the 1800s and the first bioelectrical observations of human brain signals were made in the 1900s. Certain EEG patterns were associated with brain disorders, increasing the clinical and scientific use of EEG. In the 1980s, technical advances allowed EEGs to be digitized and linked with videotape recording. In the 1990s, digital data storage increased and computer networking enabled remote real-time EEG reading, which made possible continuous EEG (cEEG) monitoring. Manual cEEG analysis became increasingly labor-intensive, calling for methods to assist this process. In the 2000s, complex algorithms enabling quantitative EEG analyses were introduced, with a new focus on shared activity between rhythms, including phase and magnitude synchrony. The automation of spectral analysis enabled studies of spectral content.

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