Objective: Central-positive complexes (CPCs) are elicited during electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) as generalized high-amplitude waveforms with maximum positive voltage over the vertex. While these complexes have been qualitatively assessed in previous literature, quantitative analyses are lacking. This study aims to characterize CPCs across temporal, spatial, and spectral domains. Methods: High-density 64-electrode electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings during 50 seizures acquired from 11 patients undergoing right unilateral ECT allowed for evaluation of spatiotemporal characteristics of CPCs via source localization and spectral analysis. Results: Peak-amplitude CPC scalp topology was consistent across seizures, showing maximal positive polarity over the midline fronto-central region and maximal negative polarity over the suborbital regions. The sources of these peak potentials were localized to the bilateral medial thalamus and cingulate cortical regions. Delta, beta, and gamma oscillations were correlated with the peak amplitude of CPCs during seizures induced during ketamine, whereas delta and gamma oscillations were associated with CPC peaks during etomidate anesthesia (excluding the dose-charge titration). Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate the consistency of CPC presence across participant, stimulus charge, time, and anesthetic agent, with peaks localized to bilateral medial thalamus and cingulate cortical regions and associated with delta, beta, and gamma band oscillations (depending on the anesthetic condition). Significance: The consistency and reproducibility of CPCs offers ECT as a new avenue for studying the dynamics of generalized seizure activity and thalamocortical networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-86
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Brain stimulation
  • Electroconvulsive therapy
  • Electroencephalography
  • Generalized seizure
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Thalamocortical network


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