EEG 108 Artifacts and Troubleshooting

Course Goal

This course is designed to provide the skills in recognizing common and some unusual artifacts seen in routine EEG recordings and troubleshooting skills for the elimination of such artifacts when possible. A brief review of the role of impedance and common mode rejection (CMR) and the role of these factors in the presence or elimination of artifacts, is also included in the course.


Upon successful completion of this course, the participant will:

  • Describe and identify the common physiological and non-physiological artifacts found during EEG recordings
  • Differentiate physiologic artifacts such as:
    • EMG and Muscle
    • Movement
    • Chewing
    • Swallowing
    • Eyeblinks
    • EKG
    • Pacemaker
    • Vagal Nerve Stimulator
    • Pulse
    • Ballistocardiographic
    • Glossokinetic
    • Respiration
    • Respirator
    • Tics and Tremors
    • Perspiration
    • Directional Eye Movements (Polarity of the eye)
    • Bells Phenomena - Corneal Retinal Potential
    • Nystagmus
    • Eye Flutter
  • Differentiate non-physiologic artifacts, including chemical, physical, high impedance, artifacts caused by electrode distance errors, and external artifacts such as:
    • Electrode Pops
    • Perspiration
    • Photocell or Photoelectric
    • Unsecured attachment of electrodes
    • 60 Hz room noise and noise from the Insturment
    • High Impedance causing increased 60 Hz or low amplitude signal
    • Ground lead recording artifact
    • Static Electricity
  • Indicate and demonstrate the technique/s necessary to rid the EEG of these artifacts
  • Indicate and demonstrate the technique/s of monitoring artifacts both visually and electrographically when possible
    • Eye monitors (electroocculogram)
    • Infraorbital eye leads and lateral eye leads (outer canthus) for lateral movements
  • Describe the role that CMR (Common Mode Rejection) plays in the presence or elimination of artifact and the antena like properties of electrodes
  • Explain the importance of keeping the instrument clean
  • Describe the role calibration plays in digital EEG instrumentation
  • List the basic approaches to troubleshooting problems and compile a “Troubleshooting List”
  • Perform at least initial trouble shooting exercises so that the problem can be described and somewhat isolated
  • Identify when to consult the instrument manual and/or more experienced technical personnel either within your facility or at the manufacturer’s technical support center.

Course grades

  • Quiz: Artifact Recognition - 10%
  • Quiz: Reading Assignments - 10%
  • Quiz: Troubleshooting - 10%
  • Quiz: Practice Exam Review - no credit
  • Final Exam - 70%
  • Final Exam - 70% of total grade
  • Passing score = 70%
  • 20 ASET-CEUs awarded upon successful completion (Certificate provided as proof of credits)