Back-Projection Cortical Potential Imaging: Theory and Results

Dror Haor, Reuven Shavit, Moshe Shapiro, Amir B. Geva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electroencephalography (EEG) is the single brain monitoring technique that is non-invasive, portable, passive, exhibits high-temporal resolution, and gives a directmeasurement of the scalp electrical potential. Amajor disadvantage of the EEG is its low-spatial resolution, which is the result of the low-conductive skull that 'smears' the currents coming from within the brain. Recording brain activity with both high temporal and spatial resolution is crucial for the localization of confined brain activations and the study of brainmechanismfunctionality, whichis then followed by diagnosis of brain-related diseases. In this paper, a new cortical potential imaging (CPI) method is presented. The new method gives an estimation of the electrical activity on the cortex surface and thus removes the 'smearing effect' caused by the skull. The scalp potentials are back-projected CPI (BP-CPI) onto the cortex surface by building a well-posed problem to the Laplace equation that is solved by means of the finite elements method on a realistic head model. A unique solution to the CPI problem is obtained by introducing a cortical normal current estimation technique. The technique is based on the same mechanism used in the well-known surface Laplacian calculation, followed by a scalp-cortex back-projection routine. The BP-CPI passed four stages of validation, including validation on spherical and realistic head models, probabilistic analysis (Monte Carlo simulation), and noise sensitivity tests. In addition, the BP-CPI was compared with the minimum norm estimate CPI approach and found superior for multi-source cortical potential distributions with very good estimation results (CC >0.97) on a realistic head model in the regions of interest, for two representative cases. The BP-CPI can be easily incorporated in different monitoring tools and help researchers by maintaining an accurate estimation for the cortical potential of ongoing or event-related potentials in order to have better neurological inferences from the EEG.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number7875151
Pages (from-to)1583-1595
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE transactions on medical imaging
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • Cortical potential imaging
  • backprojection
  • finite element method
  • head modeling
  • surface Laplacian

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Back-Projection Cortical Potential Imaging: Theory and Results'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this