A brain phantom for simultaneous magnetoencephalography and electroencephalography measurements
Katharine Lee
Crofton House
Floor Location : M 038 R

In the past, the electroencephalogram (EEG) has proven to be effective and a great contributor to our understanding of the brain. More recently, the magnetoencephalogram (MEG) has added to this understanding. Both technologies stand strong alone but are even more powerful when combined. My project takes steps towards this compilation of technologies. Brain imaging equipment such as MEG and EEG is becoming more and more prevalent in healthcare. It has become apparent that brain imaging may be the best possible mechanism for evaluating and diagnosing brain related diseases and injuries such as epilepsy and concussion. While both MEG and EEG examine the currents generated when neurons fire, the MEG measures the magnetic fields and the EEG measures the electric potential. Most devices (called phantoms) created to test MEG and EEG machines are only capable of testing one or the other but not both. Brain phantoms are important to scientific instruments because it provides a ground truth that all scientists can use to verify their devices. The brain phantom I created is able to test both MEG and EEG machines simultaneously enabling scientists to directly compare the effectiveness of the two technologies together. In order for this phantom to be compatible with both devices, it needed a conductive surface, conductive volume, and the ability to simulate a neuron firing. After creating this phantom out of a current dipole (that simulated the neuron firing), and various conductive materials, I then tested it at the MEG/EEG lab at the Down Syndrome Research Foundation. The results confirm that both MEG and EEG signals can be detected by the use of the phantom. When the dipole was energized using a sine wave signal it created realistic brain-like activity that both the MEG and EEG devices recorded simultaneously. This device has real-world applications and will be used by scientists at the MEG/EEG lab to verify and compare the equipment.