Full-band EEG (fbEEG): a new standard for clinical electroencephalography

Clin EEG Neurosci. 2005 Oct;36(4):311-7. doi: 10.1177/155005940503600411.


A variety of neuroimaging techniques, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetoencephalography (MEG), have been established during the last few decades, with progressive improvements continuously taking place in the underlying technologies. In contrast to this, the recording bandwidth of the routine clinical EEG (typically around 0.5-50 Hz) that was originally set by trivial technical limitations has remained practically unaltered for over half a decade. An increasing amount of evidence shows that salient EEG signals take place and can be recorded beyond the conventional clinical EEG bandwidth. These physiological and pathological EEG activities range from 0.01 Hz to several hundred Hz, and they have been demonstrated in recordings of spontaneous activity in the preterm human brain, and during epileptic seizures, sleep, as well as in various kinds of cognitive tasks and states in the adult brain. In the present paper, we will describe the practical aspects of recording the full physiological frequency band of the EEG (Full-band EEG; FbEEG), and we review the currently available data on the clinical applications of FbEEG. Recording the FbEEG is readily attained with commercially available direct-current (DC) coupled amplifiers if the recording setup includes electrodes providing a DC-stable electrode-skin interface. FbEEG does not have trade-offs that would favor any frequency band at the expense of another. We present several arguments showing that elimination of the lower (infraslow) or higher (ultrafast) bands of the EEG frequency spectrum in routine EEG has led, and will lead, to situations where salient and physiologically meaningful features of brain activity remain undetected or become seriously attenuated and distorted. With the currently available electrode, amplifier and data acquisition technology, it is to be expected that FbEEG will become the standard approach in both clinical and basic science.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Biological Clocks*
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted / standards
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Electroencephalography / standards
  • Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory*
  • Humans
  • Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Neurons
  • Synaptic Transmission