EEG/MEG error bounds for a dipole source with a realistic head model

Carlos H. Muravchik, Arye Nehorai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We derive Cramér-Rao bounds (CRB's) on the errors of estimating the parameters (location and moment) of a current dipole source using data from electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG), or the combined EEG/MEG modality. We use a realistic head model based on knowledge of surfaces separating tissues of different conductivities obtained from magnetic resonance (MR) or computer tomography (CT) imaging systems. The electric potentials and magnetic field components at the respective sensors are functions of the source parameters through integral equations. These potentials and field are formulated for solving them by the boundary element method (BEM) or the finite element method (FEM) with a weighted residuals technique. We present a unified framework for the measurements computed by these methods that enables the derivation of the bounds. The resulting bounds may be used, for instance, to choose the best configuration of the sensors for a given patient and region of expected source location. Numerical results are used to demonstrate an application for showing expected accuracies in estimating the source parameters as a function of its position in the brain based on real EEG/MEG systems and MR or CT images.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2901
Number of pages1
JournalIEEE Transactions on Signal Processing
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1999


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