Cortical potential imaging of somatosensory evoked potentials by means of the boundary element method in pediatric epilepsy patients

Xiaoxiao Bai, Vernon L. Towle, Wim Van Drongelen, Bin He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The aim of the present study was to assess the feasibility of identifying the primary hand sensory area and central sulcus in pediatric patients using the cortical potential imaging (CPI) method from the scalp recorded somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs). The CPI method was used to reconstruct the cortical potential distribution from the scalp potentials with the boundary element (3-layer: scalp, skull and brain) head model based on MR images of individual subjects. The cortical potentials estimated from the pre-operative scalp SEPs of four pediatric patients, were compared with the post-op subdural SEP recordings made in the same subjects. Estimated and directly recorded cortical SEP maps showed comparable spatial patterns on the cortical surface in four patients (spatial correlation coefficient >0.7 in the SEP spikes). For two of four patients, the estimated waveforms correlated significantly to the waveforms obtained by direct cortical recordings. The present results demonstrated the feasibility of the cortical potential imaging approach in noninvasive imaging spatial distribution and temporal waveforms of cortical potentials for pediatric patients. These also suggest that the CPI method may provide a promising means of estimating the cortical potential and noninvasive localizing the central sulcus to aid surgical planning for pediatric patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-343
Number of pages11
JournalBrain Topography
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments The authors would like to thank Drs. Kurt He-cox and David Frim for useful discussions on the data collection, Dr. Hal Blumenfeld for constructive comments to the manuscript, and Drs. Christopher Wilke, Yuan Lai and Zhongming Liu for useful discussions on the data analysis. This work was supported in part by NIH R01EB00178, NIH R01EB007920, and NIH R01EB006433.


  • Central sulcus
  • Cortical potential imaging
  • Cortical potential waveform
  • High-resolution EEG
  • SEP


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