Methodological standards and interpretation of video-electroencephalography in adult control rodents. A TASK1-WG1 report of the AES/ILAE Translational Task Force of the ILAE

Epilepsia. 2017 Nov;58 Suppl 4(Suppl 4):10-27. doi: 10.1111/epi.13903.


In vivo electrophysiological recordings are widely used in neuroscience research, and video-electroencephalography (vEEG) has become a mainstay of preclinical neuroscience research, including studies of epilepsy and cognition. Studies utilizing vEEG typically involve comparison of measurements obtained from different experimental groups, or from the same experimental group at different times, in which one set of measurements serves as "control" and the others as "test" of the variables of interest. Thus, controls provide mainly a reference measurement for the experimental test. Control rodents represent an undiagnosed population, and cannot be assumed to be "normal" in the sense of being "healthy." Certain physiological EEG patterns seen in humans are also seen in control rodents. However, interpretation of rodent vEEG studies relies on documented differences in frequency, morphology, type, location, behavioral state dependence, reactivity, and functional or structural correlates of specific EEG patterns and features between control and test groups. This paper will focus on the vEEG of standard laboratory rodent strains with the aim of developing a small set of practical guidelines that can assist researchers in the design, reporting, and interpretation of future vEEG studies. To this end, we will: (1) discuss advantages and pitfalls of common vEEG techniques in rodents and propose a set of recommended practices and (2) present EEG patterns and associated behaviors recorded from adult rats of a variety of strains. We will describe the defining features of selected vEEG patterns (brain-generated or artifactual) and note similarities to vEEG patterns seen in adult humans. We will note similarities to normal variants or pathological human EEG patterns and defer their interpretation to a future report focusing on rodent seizure patterns.

Keywords: Electroencephalography; Electromyography; Naive control; Rodents; Video-electroencephalography.

MeSH terms

  • Advisory Committees
  • Animals
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Electroencephalography / standards*
  • Electronic Data Processing*
  • Epilepsy / diagnosis*
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Societies, Medical / standards
  • Translational Research, Biomedical*
  • Video Recording / methods
  • Video Recording / standards*