The present study focuses on magnetic fields of the brain activities during sleep, in particular on K complexes, vertex waves, and sleep spindles in human subjects. We analyzed these waveforms based on both topographic EEG (electroencephalographic) maps and magnetic fields measurements, called MEGs (magnetoencephalograms). The components of magnetic fields perpendicular to the surface of the head were measured using a dc SQUID magnetometer with a second derivative gradiometer. In our computer simulation, the head is assumed to be a homogeneous spherical volume conductor, with electric sources of brain activity modeled as current dipoles. Comparison of computer simulations with the measured data, particularly the MEG, suggests that the source of K complexes can be modeled by two current dipoles. A source for the vertex wave is modeled by a single current dipole which orients along the body axis out of the head. By again measuring the simultaneous MEG and EEG signals, it is possible to uniquely determine the orientation of this dipole, particularly when it is tilted slightly off axis. In sleep stage 2, fast waves of magnetic fields consistently appeared, but EEG spindles appeared intermittently. The results suggest that there exist sources which are undetectable by electrical measurement but are detectable by magnetic field measurement. Such source can be described by a pair of opposing dipoles of which directions are oppositely oriented.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)