A simulation study of the error in dipole source localization for EEG spikes with a realistic head model

Katsuhiro Kobayashi, Harumi Yoshinaga, Makio Oka, Yoko Ohtsuka, Jean Gotman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: We tried to determine the error range of dipole modeling for EEG spikes originating from various clinically important sources by a simulation study employing a realistic head model. The computed error range was also compared with the degree of disturbance of dipole modeling caused by adding background activity to the spike. Methods: The scalp fields generated by temporal, frontal and rolandic epileptic sources with spatial extent were simulated, and the corresponding 3-dimensional maps of residual variance (RV) were built by computing the RV for a single dipole at each point on a fine imaginary grid in the brain. Single dipole modeling was also performed for the simulated scalp fields after adding real background activity. Results: The brain volume corresponding to a small RV was compact for the frontal sources and the lateral and baso-mesial temporal sources, and large for the anterior and baso-lateral temporal sources. The distribution of dipoles estimated for spikes contaminated with background corresponded to that of the volume of small RV and to spike-amplitude. Estimates were improved by employing inferior temporal electrodes. Conclusions: When evaluating dipole models of epileptic spikes, error ranges can be estimated and they vary considerably from region to region. Significance: This study illustrates the variability of the error in dipole modeling of epileptic spikes. This variability is important when considering the clinical interpretation of modeling results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1069-1078
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2003


  • Dipole modeling
  • Epilepsy
  • Frontal lobe
  • Rolandic
  • Spike
  • Temporal lobe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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