Influences of skull segmentation inaccuracies on EEG source analysis.

Journal article

Publication Details

Author(s): Lanfer B, Scherg M, Dannhauer M, Knoesche TR, Burger M, Wolters CH
Journal: NeuroImage
Publication year: 2012
Volume: 62
Pages range: 418-31
ISSN: 1053-8119
eISSN: 1095-9572
Language: English


The low-conducting human skull is known to have an especially large influence on electroencephalography (EEG) source analysis. Because of difficulties segmenting the complex skull geometry out of magnetic resonance images, volume conductor models for EEG source analysis might contain inaccuracies and simplifications regarding the geometry of the skull. The computer simulation study presented here investigated the influences of a variety of skull geometry deficiencies on EEG forward simulations and source reconstruction from EEG data. Reference EEG data was simulated in a detailed and anatomically plausible reference model. Test models were derived from the reference model representing a variety of skull geometry inaccuracies and simplifications. These included erroneous skull holes, local errors in skull thickness, modeling cavities as bone, downward extension of the model and simplifying the inferior skull or the inferior skull and scalp as layers of constant thickness. The reference EEG data was compared to forward simulations in the test models, and source reconstruction in the test models was performed on the simulated reference data. The finite element method with high-resolution meshes was employed for all forward simulations. It was found that large skull geometry inaccuracies close to the source space, for example, when cutting the model directly below the skull, led to errors of 20mm and more for extended source space regions. Local defects, for example, erroneous skull holes, caused non-negligible errors only in the vicinity of the defect. The study design allowed a comparison of influence size, and guidelines for modeling the skull geometry were concluded.

External institutions with authors

Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften / Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität (WWU) Münster

How to cite

Lanfer, B., Scherg, M., Dannhauer, M., Knoesche, T.R., Burger, M., & Wolters, C.H. (2012). Influences of skull segmentation inaccuracies on EEG source analysis. NeuroImage, 62, 418-31.

Lanfer, B., et al. "Influences of skull segmentation inaccuracies on EEG source analysis." NeuroImage 62 (2012): 418-31.


Last updated on 2018-29-11 at 08:38