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Comparison of Boundary Element and Finite Element Approaches to the EEG Forward Problem

Abstract : The accurate simulation of the electric fields evoked by neural activity is crucial for solving the inverse problem of EEG. Nowadays, boundary element methods (BEM) are frequently applied to achieve this goal, usually relying on the simpli-fication of approximating the human head by three nested compartments with isotropic conductivities (skin, skull, brain). Here, including the highly-conducting cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a difficult task due to the complex geomet-rical structure of the CSF, demanding a high number of additional nodes for an accurate modeling and thus a strongly increased computational effort. Though, CSF conductivity is well-known and nearly not varying inter-individually and its significant influence on EEG forward simulation has been shown. The CSF can be included at negligible computational costs when applying finite element (FE) forward approaches. In this study we compare the accuracy and performance of state-of-the-art BE and FE approaches in both artificial and realistic three layer head models, showing that all approaches lead to high numerical accuracies. Furthermore, we give an impression of the significant influence of modeling the CSF compartment as disregarding this compartment leads to model errors that lie clearly above the observed numerical errors.
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Contributor : Maureen Clerc <>
Submitted on : Friday, September 28, 2012 - 1:12:24 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 5:34:22 PM

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Maureen Clerc, Carsten Wolters, Johannes Vorwerk, Martin Burger. Comparison of Boundary Element and Finite Element Approaches to the EEG Forward Problem. BMT 2012, Sep 2012, Jena, Germany. pp.795-798, ⟨10.1515/bmt-2012-4152⟩. ⟨hal-00736523⟩



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