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

Nature reviews. Neuroscience

Voltage-Sensitive Dye Imaging, ultrastructure, physiology, Synapses, Neurons, Neuroglia, Neural Conduction, Magnetoencephalography, Ligand-Gated Ion Channels, Humans, Extracellular Space, Evoked Potentials, Electroencephalography, Electrical Synapses, Calcium Signaling, Animals

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      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.

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